”Be mindful even though it hurts: The potential benefit of mindfulness- and acceptance-based interventions in sport injury rehabilitation” (by Karin Moesch)

About the speaker: Karin Moesch moved from Switzerland to Sweden (Lund University), and more recently to Halmstad University. Her research interests focus on team sports, talent development and violent behaviors in adolescents. She is also employed as a sport psychologist at the Swedish Sports Confederation where her work is based on cognitive behavioral therapy.

Text: Simon Martin, a summary of the symposium: “Psychological perspectives on sport injuries”  held at the Nordic sport science conference. November 22/23 2017, Halmstad. 

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Background: Sport injuries cause psychological suffering. Traditional Psychological Skills Training (PST, e.g. imagery, self-talk) have been shown to reduce these negative reactions. However, a relatively new paradigm, well known thanks to mindfulness and acceptance therapy, could be even more effective during injury rehabilitation.

Goal: To conduct a systematic review of previously published meta-analyses about mindfulness effectiveness during rehabilitation following sport injury.

Highlights: Mindfulness has a substantial action on:

  • Reducing psychological distress and depressive symptoms
  • Reducing stress and anxiety
  • Improving well-being
  • Enhancing adaptation to illnesses (including adherence), self-efficacy and pain management.

Take-home message: “Accept, rather than suppress” existing negative reactions to sport injury enhance psychological well-being and attitude during rehabilitation.


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