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Psychological factors involved in adherence to sport injury rehabilitation: A systematic review

Goddard, Keith; Roberts, Claire-Marie; Byron-Daniel, James; Woodford, Lindsay


Keith Goddard


The objective of this article is to review the extant literature on the psychological factors related to adherence to sport injury rehabilitation among athletes. Published English language articles were identified using electronic databases. The quality of the identified articles was assessed using a hybrid quality assessment tool based on the Effective Public Health Practice Project tool and the Health Technology Assessment Programme for evaluating non-randomised intervention studies. Seventeen papers – one using a treatment intervention, two qualitative articles and 14 descriptive studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria and were systematically reviewed. The results suggested that there were two categories of factors that determine adherence to rehabilitation in this population: person and situational. Person-specific factors included the impact of the injury, justification for adherence, motivation, confidence/self-efficacy, coping, social support, locus of control, cognitive appraisal, coping and psychological skills. Situational factors included the characteristics, strategies and effectiveness of the physical therapist and treatment efficacy. Due to the scant nature and quality of the studies included in this review, we conclude that research of strong design is required to provide a greater evidence-base and to help inform the role that sport psychologists could play in designing interventions to improve adherence to rehabilitation


Goddard, K., Roberts, C., Byron-Daniel, J., & Woodford, L. (in press). Psychological factors involved in adherence to sport injury rehabilitation: A systematic review. International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology,

Journal Article Type Review
Acceptance Date Mar 10, 2020
Online Publication Date Mar 25, 2020
Deposit Date Mar 27, 2020
Publicly Available Date Mar 26, 2021
Journal International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Print ISSN 1750-984X
Electronic ISSN 1750-9858
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Applied Psychology
Public URL
Additional Information Peer Review Statement: The publishing and review policy for this title is described in its Aims & Scope.; Aim & Scope: http://www.tandfonline....ope&journalCode=rirs20; Received: 2019-07-12; Accepted: 2020-03-10; Published: 2020-03-25