Finnish athletes' expectations about physiotherapy in sport injury rehabilitation
As the injured athlete's primary and most frequent contact within the sport injury rehabilitation process, the physiotherapist is in a unique position to influence the athlete's psychological rehabilitation alongside the physical recovery (Barefield & McCallister, 1997). The important question of whether or not athletes expect physiotherapists to address their psychological issues, however, has not yet been investigated in detail. Moreover, scales that measure athletes’ expectations of physiotherapy are also scarce and available only in the English language. Therefore, the purpose of this study was two-fold: 1) to adapt the Expectation About Athletic Training (EAAT) questionnaire into Finnish and 2) to examine Finnish athletes’ expectations of physiotherapy. The EAAT questionnaire that measures athletes’ expectations about sport injury rehabilitation and physiotherapy was translated into Finnish and administrated to a sample of 247 Finnish athletes. The psychometrics of the instrument was examined using principal component analysis and expectations of different groups of Finnish athletes were examined using independent sample t-test and one-way ANOVA. Results found that the previously hypothesized second order 3-factor model of the EAAT questionnaire was not confirmed in the Finnish sample. Although some items formed similar constructs as with the original 17 scales, and thus were used to form 11 new factors for the purpose of this study, confirmatory factor analysis is suggested for future research. Finnish athletes reported highest expectations for direct informational support and expertise from the physiotherapist. Athletes also had moderate expectations for the physiotherapist to have facilitative characteristics, such as genuineness. Furthermore, athletes had moderate expectations to be personally responsible and committed in physiotherapy. Gender, injury type, competition level, and previous experience in mental skills training were identified as potential moderators of athletes’ expectations of physiotherapy. It is noteworthy that athletes demonstrated neutral to high expectations for all 11 dimensions of client expectations. These research findings support and magnify the significance of physiotherapists in rehabilitation. Physiotherapists should be aware of athletes’ expectations and prepare to meet their various physical and psychological needs. Psychological education can potentially assist physiotherapists in meeting athletes’ needs. ...
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