Development and preliminary validation of a scale to measure the psychological impact of returning to sport following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction surgery Academic Article uri icon


  • The purpose of this study was to develop a scale to measure the psychological impact of returning to sport after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction surgery.Three types of psychological responses believed to be associated with resumption of sport following athletic injury--emotions, confidence in performance, and risk appraisal--were incorporated into a 12-item ACL-Return to Sport after Injury (ACL-RSI) scale.Two hundred and twenty participants who had undergone ACL reconstruction completed the scale between 8 and 22 months following surgery.The scale was shown to have acceptable reliability (Cronbach's alpha=0.92). Participants who had given up sport scored significantly lower on the scale (reflecting a more negative psychological response) than those who had returned or were planning to return to sport (p<0.001).It was concluded that the decision to return to sport after ACL reconstruction is associated with a significant psychological response. Preliminary reliability and validity was found for the ACL-RSI scale. This scale may help to identify athletes who will find sport resumption difficult.

publication date

  • February 2008