Fear of Reinjury, Negative Affect, and Catastrophizing Predicting Return to Sport in Recreational Athletes With Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries at 1 Year Postsurgery

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Abstract

Objective

To examine fear of reinjury, negative affect, and pain catastrophizing as determinants of athletes' confidence in their ability to take part in sport activity and their reported return to sport 1 year after undergoing anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction.

Participants

49 recreational-level athletes (27 men and 22 women; Mage = 29.15 years, SD = 11.57).

Results

Negative affect was inversely associated with sport confidence, and fear of reinjury was inversely associated with reported return to sport. Regression models showed that negative affect was the lone significant predictor (β = −.32, p < .05) of lower sport confidence after activity and education were controlled. Greater fear of reinjury was the lone significant predictor (β = −.40, p < .05) of lower levels of return to sporting activity.

Conclusions

Findings indicate that athletes' confidence in returning to their sport was reduced in those with greater negative mood and that greater fear of reinjury was related to a lower return to sporting activity. Outcomes are discussed in relation to research and implications.

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