203950 Social support patterns of collegiate athletes before and after injury

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Jingzhen Yang, PhD, MPH , Community and Behavioral Health, College of Public Health, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
Corinne Peek-Asa, PhD, MPH , Occupational and Environmental Health, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
John B. Lowe, DrPH, FAHPA, FAAHB , School of Health and Sport Sciences, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore, Australia
Erin O. Heiden, MPH , Department of Community and Behavioral Health, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
Background: Social support has been identified as an important factor in facilitating recovery from injury; however, no previous study has prospectively examined the change in social support patterns before and after injury.

Objective: To examine the gender differences in social support patterns among collegiate athletes, and to investigate social support pattern changes pre- and post-injury

Method: A prospective design with repeated measures. Baseline data were collected among participating athletes from 13 sports teams in one Big Ten university. Injury incidence was identified using the Sports Injury Monitoring System (SIMS). Follow-up in-person surveys were administered among injured athletes. Changes in athletes' reported sources of and satisfaction with social support between baseline and three months post-injury were assessed, using a chi-square and t-test, respectively.

Results: A total of 257 (male=167, female=90) collegiate athletes were included. Male athletes had more sources of social support than female athletes, while female athletes had a greater satisfaction with the support they receive. Athletes' social support patterns changed after they become injured. Injured athletes reported relying more on coaches (p = .0084), athletic trainers (p < .0001), and physicians (p = .0120) for social support after they became injured. Athletes also reported significantly greater post-injury satisfaction with social support received from friends (p = .0028) and athletic trainers (p < .0001), but significantly lower post-injury satisfaction with the support received from family (p = .0423).

Conclusions: Our findings strongly suggest that athletic trainers have a critical role in providing social support to assist injured athletes in rehabilitation.

Learning Objectives:
1) Recognize the difference in social support patterns between male and female collegiate athletes; 2) Discuss the changes in social support patterns before and after injury among injured collegiate athlete; and 3) Identify the role of athletic trainers play in providing social support to injured athletes.

Keywords: Injury Control, College Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am faculty working at the college of public health
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.