Jessica Mutchler, Savannah L. McLain, Samuel J. Wilson, Megan Byrd, Benjamin Paquette, Diego Castro-Diaz, Barry A. Munkasy. Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA.

BACKGROUND: Injuries to the hamstrings complex are one of the most common lower extremity injuries in athletic populations. It is currently unknown how psychological or sociological factors affect an athlete after the recovery process has ended and they’re returned to activity. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore long-term perceived disability in physically active adults following a hamstring injury. METHODS: Twenty-six physically active adults with (n=13) and without (n=13) a previous hamstring injury (age 21±1.68 y) completed a Qualtrics survey that included demographic questions for participant matching, the Oslo Sport Trauma’s Hamstring Outcome Score (HaOS), the Injury Psychological Readiness to Return to Sport (I-PRRS), and the Athletic Fear Avoidance Questionnaire (AFAQ). Multiple one-way ANOVAs compared the HaOS subscales and total score, I-PRRS scores, and AFAQ scores between previously injured hamstring individuals and their healthy, matched control after splitting the SPSS data file between competitive (HS_Comp and Con_Comp) and non-competitive athletes (HS_Non-Comp and Con_Non-Comp). RESULTS: There was a significant difference between HS_Non-Comp and Con_Non-Comp groups when comparing Pain subscale (80.71 + 8.5 vs. 98.57+1.96; p < .001; d = 2.89), Function subscale (87.86+11.85, 99.28+1.89; p = 0.027; d = 1.34), and Total HaOS score (81.9+7.22 vs. 92.85+2.21; p = .002; d = 2.05). There were also significant differences in AFAQ scores between HS_Non-Comp and Con_Non-Comp groups (23+11.14 vs. 11.4+3.13; p = 0.05; d = 1.41), but not between the HS_Comp and Con_Comp groups (18.5+12.96 vs. 10.13+0.35; p = 0.09; d = 0.91). CONCLUSION: Non-competitive athletes with a previous hamstring injury reported a greater degree of perceived disability due to pain and function compared to non-competitive athletes with no history of hamstring injury. The results also suggest that fear of re-injury may exist after returning to activity, but confidence in performance may not change after returning to play. Future research should focus on the injury related fear avoidance and why non-competitive athletes had long-term reports of disability whereas competitive athletes did not. Access and utilization of medical professionals by non-competitive and competitive physically active populations following hamstring injury should be explored.

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