Fear of Injury, Kinesiophobia & Perceived Risk
It is a well-documented fact that decreases in athletic performance after injury can be attributed to both psychological and physical factors (Dunn, 1999). The sports professionals have become aware of the integral role that psychological factors play in the injury occurrence and recovery processes. For this reason, such constructs like “perceiving fear” and “confidence in avoiding injury”, “fear of pain” and “fear of injury” have become important factors to consider when dealing with injured athletes. The previous information paints an intricate picture of an athlete’s psychological response to injury, but lacking information regarding emotional factors it is difficult to reliably predict athletes at high risk for injury. Although sports psychologists have contributed invaluable information to this concern, the emotional aspects of injury have not yet been fully addressed. The emotion of fear has not been excluded from research on general orthopedic injuries, but it has not been highly considered among athletes. Athletes are generally perceived as warrior type individuals who do not harbor emotions such as fear. This may be a major misperception considering that athletes face possible physical harm every time they step onto the field. When a nonathletic individual suffers an injury, he or she is faced with the difficulty of completing normal daily tasks due to pain and a loss of mobility. Once the person returns to pre-injury level, he or she is still only faced with the challenge of completing normal daily tasks. An athlete on the other hand, is not only faced with the challenges of daily functioning, but also faced with the challenge of returning to the field. Though he or she has overcome the injury, the athlete must deal with possibility of re-injury due to the high demands of sport activity. Therefore, the challenges for an injured athlete are quite complex because the act of returning to play forces an athlete to participate in the exact activity that caused the injury initially. Being faced with memories of pain and discomfort is likely to cause some level of fear. Given the complexity of the athlete’s experience of injury, it seems erroneous to ignore fear as a possible component of re-injury.
KeywordsAnterior Cruciate Ligament Sport Participation Ankle Sprain Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Ballet Dancer
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Dunn, G.H. (1999). A theoretical framework for structuring the content of competitive worry in ice hockey. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 21, 259-279.Google Scholar
- Macchi, R., & Crossman, J. (1995). After the fall: Reflections of injured classical ballet dancers. Journal of Sport Behavior, 19, 221-234.Google Scholar
- Magyar, M.T., & Chase, M.A. (1996). Psychological strategies used by competitive gymnasts to overcome the fear of injury. Technique, 16, Retrieved February 14, 2001.Google Scholar
- Kontos, A. P., Feltz, D. L., & Malina, R. M. (2000). The perception of risk of injury in sports scale: Confirming adolescent athletes’ concerns about injury. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 22, S12.Google Scholar
- Miller, R.P., Kori, S.H., Todd, D.D. (1991). The Tampa Scale of Kinesiophobia. Ref Type: Unpublished work.Google Scholar
- Moss, R., Slobounov, S. (2006). Neural, behavioral and psychological effects of injury in athletes. In. S Slobounov & W. Sebastianelli (Eds.), Foundations of sport-related brain injuries, (pp.407-430). Springer.Google Scholar
- Gravetter, F.J., Larry, B., Wallnau, B. (2000). Statistics for the behavioral sciences: a first course for students of psychology and education. 2nd ed. West Pub. Co. St. Paul. MN.Google Scholar
- Messner, M.A. Power at play: Sports and the problem of masculinity. Boston: Beacon Press, 1992.Google Scholar
- Nixon, H.L. (1996). Explaining pain and injury attitudes and experiences in sport in terms of gender, race, and sports status factor. Jounrnal of Sport and Social Science, 20, 33-44.Google Scholar
- De Mondaigne, M. The Complete works: Essays, Travel Journal, Letters. Alfred A. Knopf New York: Everyman’s library, 2003.Google Scholar
- Phares, J. Clinical Psychology: Concepts, Methods & Prodession. 3rd edition. The Dorsey Press, 1988.Google Scholar