Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2012) 11, 331 - 338

Research article
Is a Cognitive-Behavioural Biofeedback Intervention Useful to Reduce Injury Risk in Junior Football Players?
Arne Edvardsson , Andreas Ivarsson, Urban Johnson
Author Information
Centre for Research on Welfare, Health and Sport, Halmstad University, Halmstad, Sweden

Arne Edvardsson
‚úČ Centre for research on Welfare, Health and Sport, Halmstad University, Box 823, 30118 Halmstad, Sweden
Email: arne.edvardsson@gmail.com
Publish Date
Received: 26-09-2011
Accepted: 08-04-2012
Published (online): 01-06-2012
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ABSTRACT

Athletes participating in sport are exposed to a relatively high injury risk. Previous research has suggested that it could be possible to reduce sports injuries through psychological skills training. The purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which a cognitive behavioural biofeedback intervention could reduce the number of sports injuries in a sample of players in Swedish elite football high schools. Participants from four elite football high schools (16-19 years old) were divided into one experiment (n = 13) and one control group (n = 14). Participants were asked to complete three questionnaires to assess anxiety level (Sport Anxiety Scale), history of stressors (Life Event Scale for Collegiate Athletes) and coping skills (Athletic Coping Skills Inventory - 28) in a baseline measure. Mann-Whitney U-tests showed no significant differences in pre-intervention scores based on the questionnaires. The experimental group participated in a nine-week intervention period consisting of seven sessions, including: somatic relaxation, thought stopping, emotions/problem focused coping, goal setting, biofeedback training as well as keeping a critical incident diary. A Mann-Whitney U test showed no significant difference between the control and experimental group U (n1 = 13, n2 = 14) = 51.00, p = 0.054. However, considering the small sample, the statistical power (0.05 for present study), to detect effects was low. The results of the study are discussed from a psychological perspective and proposals for future research are given.

Key words: Coping skills, elite sport, psychological injury prevention, psychological stress, soccer


           Key Points
  • Cognitive-behavioral training together with biofeedback training seems to be an effective strategy to decrease the occurrence of injuries.
  • More intervention studies should be conducted applying existing biofeedback methodology, especially in the injury preventive area.
  • Future research should develop a bio-psychological injury model aimed at predicting injury occurrence which describes the physiological stress responses and how they can be measured in more detail.
 
 
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