Date Degree Awarded
Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.)
Sharon Christman, Ph.D., RN, FAHA
Second Committee Member
Elizabeth Sled, Ph.D., M.S., BScPT
Emotional impact, ACL injury, ACL reconstruction, competitive athlete, return to sport
BACKGROUND: Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injuries among athletes are increasingly common, yet less than 50% of these athletes return to their previous level of sport participation. While most of these athletes are physically ready to return to sport, many of them have reported they were not emotionally ready to return.
PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between 1) the emotional readiness to return to sport, 2) intention to return to their previous level of sport participation, and 3) actual return to their previous level of sport participation after ACL injury and reconstruction in competitive adult athletes.
METHODS: This was a descriptive correlational study with a convenience sample of 64 athletes recruited through Facebook and email. The variables of interest were measured using the ACL-Return to Sport Index (ACL-RSI), and questions regarding an athlete’s intention to and actual return to their previous level of sport participation.
RESULTS: Athletes who intended to return to their previous level of sport participation were 11 times more likely to return to sport than athletes with no intention to return to sport (p = .002). Athletes who scored greater than 5 (0-10) on the ACL-RSI were 7 times more likely to intend to return to their previous level of sport participation (p =.01) but only 2.5 times more likely to actually return to their previous level of sport participation (p = .22).
CONCLUSION: This study showed an athlete’s intention to return to sport does in fact impact their actual return to previous level of sport after ACL injury and reconstruction, though they should be interpreted cautiously due to the small sample size. Through further research the ACL-RSI scale may be used to predict an athlete’s ability to return to the previous level of sport.
Frazee, Moriah M. and Frazee, Molly M., "A Descriptive Correlational Study Measuring the Emotional Impact of ACL Injury and Reconstruction on Intention to Return and Actual Return to Previous Level of Sport in Competitive Athletes" (2015). Master of Science in Nursing Theses. 14.
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