Dr Caroline Heaney and Dr Nichola Kentzer have recently published an article in Case Studies In Sport and Exercise Psychology titled ‘A Case Study Investigation Into a Group Online Sport Psychology Support Intervention for Injured Athletes’. The article explored the impact of an online sport psychology support hub on a group of sixteen injured athletes. The online hub moderated by a sport psychologist, provided sport psychology support through:
- Social support via an online forum where athletes could talk to each other and the sport psychologist about the psychological aspects of their injury.
- Written emotional disclosure through weekly diary entries relating to the psychological aspects of their injury that were shared with the sport psychologist.
- Education resources aimed at helping the athletes to develop their psychological skills and ability to cope with injury.
The impact of the hub was measured through analysis of the forum posts, diary entries, and responses to an evaluation questionnaire. The athletes reported several positive benefits from using the hub and rated its overall impact highly. For example:
- The majority of athletes agreed that participating in the project made them more aware of the psychological impact of their injury, helped them to feel more positive and motivated, and had a positive impact on their sport injury experience.
- The majority agreed that the discussion forum was useful and that reading about other athletes’ sport injury experiences was particularly useful e.g., “I think hearing about other athletes’ experiences really helped me feel like I wasn’t alone”.
- The athletes found completing a diary a cathartic experience and agreed that it was a useful way to reflect on their thoughts and feelings about being injured.
- The education resources were viewed positively by the athletes who unanimously agreed that they were useful materials, and most felt that engaging with the materials had a positive impact on their sport injury rehabilitation.
These findings demonstrate the potential of online delivery as a method to deliver sport psychology support to injured athletes. Online delivery can help overcome some of the barriers to injured athletes accessing sport psychology support (e.g., financial and geographical constraints) and consequently enhance its reach.
Congratulations to Caroline and Nichola!
Heaney, C., & Kentzer, N. (2023). A case study investigation into a group online sport psychology support intervention for injured athletes. Case Studies in Sport and Exercise Psychology, 7(1), 24-32.