The fear avoidance model indicates that fear of re-injury and movement related fear (kinesiophobia) can foster avoidant behaviors leading to potentially injurious changes in movement. The Tampa Scale of Kinesiophobia (TSK-11), an 11-question survey, measures movement related fear. While much of the kinesiophobia literature has focused on individuals with chronic pain, there is little evidence on the prevalence of kinesiophobia among collegiate athletes, a population with high frequency of injury. What little evidence exists indicates a connection between high kinesiophobia and injurious movement patterns. PURPOSE: Given the lack of data on collegiate athletes, the purpose of this investigation is to determine the general prevalence of kinesiophobia in a sample of collegiate athletes. METHODS: Eighty-two athletes (58 female, 24 male; 20.28±1.88 yrs) agreed to participate and completed an online questionnaire. The questionnaire included the TSK-11 (a series of 11 statements to which participants rated their level of agreement on a scale of strongly disagree to strongly agree), general demographic information including biological sex, age, sport, and years of experience, and questions regarding prior injury history. RESULTS: Among all athletes, prevalence of kinesiophobia was moderate (TSK-11: 21.38±5.47). TSK-11 scores did not differ between males or females (Males: 20.88±4.88, Females: 21.59±5.71, p>0.05) nor between athletes with a history of prior sports injury and those without (Injured: 21.87±5.45, No injury: 20.37±5.46, p>0.05). Softball athletes scored highest (TSK-11: 23.75±8.66), followed by Acrobatics and Tumbling (TSK-11: 23.13±4.42). Women’s soccer athletes scored lowest (TSK-11: 18.56±4.88). CONCLUSION: In this sample of collegiate athletes, there was a moderate prevalence of kinesiophobia as measured by the TSK-11. While there were no differences between male and female athletes, certain sports did trend higher than others. Given that increased kinesiophobia may influence movement patterns, it would be prudent to address kinesiophobia with targeted psychological interventions. Additionally, future research should investigate the relationship between kinesiophobia and biomechanics and between kinesiophobia and injury rates in a similar sample of collegiate athletes.
McNeely, Lindsey R. and Dudley, Robert I.
"Kinesiophobia Prevalence Among College Athletes,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Conference Proceedings: Vol. 14
, Article 39.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijesab/vol14/iss1/39