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Psychophysiological Examination of Sport Injury
The proposed research will seek to extend previous findings from studies investigating the effects of social support on rehabilitation success with specific focus on mentoring as a delivery mode of social support. Three studies are proposed to examine the psychophysiological aspects in competitive amateur athletes with lower limb musculoskeletal sport injuries. The research will begin by exploring the effects of social support on cognitive coping processes, emotional appraisals and behaviour in these injured athletes. The second study will investigate the effects of social support on rehabilitation using methods of one-on-one mentoring compared to e-mentoring (online), which is a method that has not been previously examined. A third study will examine differences in long-term psychophysiological responses of the two groups of athletes exposed to different mentoring intervention modalities - six months post-intervention. This research is also interested in gathering information regarding perspectives of mentoring by the mentors, who will be previously injured athletes that have successfully recovered from injury and have returned to competition.
These studies both extend previous findings on social support research in sport injury rehabilitation and establish new evidence for the efficacy of mentoring as a tool to assist injured athletes to return to sport. It represents a natural progression in validating practical interventions based on known strategies. It is important that athletes and related personnel, who are working with the competitive amateur athletes, develop an evidence-based understanding of the interplay between social support and physiological outcomes during injury rehabilitation. As no two injuries are the same, i.e. there are different behavioural and situational factors that require different approaches at different time points, injury management requires personalised programmes that provide different types of social support to rehabilitating individuals. This thesis will aim to increase knowledge in respect to the relationship between social support and cognitive coping in sport injury rehabilitation through a novel mentoring program.