Pandemics and athletics: how COVID-19 affected sport injury rehabilitation

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Kiefor, Jessica
Moore, Matt
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Thesis (B.?)
Honors College
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This study sought to better understand the lived experiences of NCAA collegiate athletes who suffered an injury during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study utilized a descriptive phenomenological approach with focus groups. Eleven student-athletes that fit the inclusion criteria were interviewed, and the transcriptions were analyzed for themes. Themes included: (1) emotional stress, (2) impact on interpersonal relationships, and (3) delay in recovery. Subthemes were also identified to further expand the concepts illustrated within the main themes. This research provided insight to the common reactions of a student-athlete post-injury, interpersonal impacts on a student-athlete from both their injury and COVID-19, rehabilitation changes due to COVID-19, and a perspective from injured student-athletes on the current availability and effectiveness of mental-health resources. This information is valuable for athletic trainers, sport psychologists, social workers, and other physical and behavioral health providers working to promote the rehabilitation and well-being of an injured athlete during COVID-19.