Selected determinants affecting the decision of athletes to undergo rehabilitation

Jakub Bratek, Maja Warzecha, Jarosław Amarowicz


Introduction: Over the past few years, there has been a growing interest in sports activities. Scientists agree that this phenomenon is likely to be followed by an increased occurrence of related injuries. In order to better understand the nature of factors accompanying sports trauma, the authors of this paper decided to assess the individual and environmental factors leading to the decision to undergo rehabilitation.
The aim was to identify causes and individual factors affecting the decision process to undergo rehabilitation and treatment effectiveness in athletes.
Materials and methods: The study was conducted based on a proprietary online questionnaire consisting of 46 questions using Microsoft Forms in a group of athletes. From October 25th to November 29th, 2020, a total of 581 questionnaires were collected from the respondents. Due to the lack of important data or conflicting information, 94 of those had to be withdrawn from the study. A total of 487 questionnaires were finally enrolled in the study. The analysis was carried out using Microsoft Excel  and Statistica 13. Values of p < 0.05 were identified as statistically significant.
Results: The study group consisted of 487 questionnaires
(n = 358 men, n = 129 women) with a Me age of the respondents of 21 years (Q1–Q3: 18–24) and body mass index (BMI) 22.9 kg/m2 (21–25.6). We found a significant correlation between age and BMI, as respondents with lower values of BMI and age were characterised by a higher frequency of training sessions. At the same time, the need for picking up excessive training loads was associated with older respondents with higher BMI. A total of 91.4% of the respondents from the study group reported a past trauma (mostly men – 74.4%, p < 0.001). In our study, we did not find a relation between the sports discipline, type of employment, and the possibility of trauma. The percentage of injuries rose with the level of self-reported advancement of the respondents (beginners – 75%, medium advanced – 86%, advanced – 90%). The list of the most commonly reported causes of the trauma included actions of the opponent (n = 173), excessive training load (n = 118), and lack of concentration (n = 110). Out of 447 people that confirmed sustaining a sport-related trauma in the past, 47% (n = 207) reported using the help of a physiotherapist afterward. Physiotherapy (PT) use was more common among women than men (56% vs. 45% respectively, p = 0.045) and older subjects (Me: 22 years, Q1–Q3: 18–27 vs. Me: 20, Q1–Q3: 17–23;
p = 0.001). It was also more popular among those with a stronger relation with sport (advanced, professionals; p < 0.001). An overall assessment of the effectiveness of PT was high, both in terms of its analgesic effect (Me: 8, Q1–Q3: 7–9) and functional recovery (Me: 9, Q1–Q3: 7–10). The highest score was identified for the analgesic effect of kinesiotherapy (p = 0.01).
Conclusions: There is a need for education programmes highlighting the importance of PT in sports and its effectiveness in the treatment and prevention of sports trauma (specially in younger men with limited experience).


physiotherapy; kinesiotherapy; sports; sports-related trauma; athletes

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