A call for more psychological skills training: examining the views of qualified and student sports therapists in the United Kingdom

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Abstract

Context: Sports therapists can influence an athlete’s psychological response to injury. At present it is unclear whether sports therapists are sufficiency trained in psychology. Objectives: To understand the views both of practising clinicians and students regarding the extent to which sports therapy education addresses psychological factors in injury management. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Online Questionnaire. Participants: Qualified sports therapists (n = 30) and sports therapy students, (n = 33). Interventions: Sports Therapist and Sport Psychology Questionnaire. Main Outcome Measures: The questionnaire included five subsets of questions (5-point Likert scale or multiple-choice). Internal consistency of each subset was rated via Cronbach’s alpha (α, 95% confidence interval) as good (questions 5 & 6; α 0.81, 0.68 to 0.88) or as excellent (scale questions 3-4; α 0.91, 0.85-0.95, question 8, α 0.97, 9.6 to 9.8, questions 7, 11 & 12; α 0.94, 0.91 – 0.96; and questions 9 & 10, α 0.96, 9.4 - 9.8). Results: Both groups recognised psychological components as either ‘important’ or ‘very important’ in rehabilitation. They reported a need for psychological skills in injury management, and more psychology training during education. While 80% of qualified therapists identified a duty to treat psychological components, only 45% of students concurred. Conclusions: Future sports therapy education should consider placing greater emphasis on the psychological components of injury management in order to sufficiently equip therapists with appropriate skills for practice.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 15 Jun 2020

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