Prompted by the recent revision of the Psychosocial Strategies and Referral (PS) content area within the fifth edition of the Athletic Training Education Competencies, this collaborative textbook came into existence because of our commitment to educating athletic trainers and athletic training students so that they may provide the best possible care by treating the whole person in a holistic approach to patient care.
The purpose of this textbook is to provide a theoretically sound basis for the integration of psychosocial aspects related to athletic training. Our aim is to provide a user-friendly introduction to the practical use of psychosocial strategies as they relate specifically to the field of athletic training and to offer athletic training students and certified athletic trainers an applied reference that will provide useful tools with which to enhance their clinical practice. As such, each chapter provides an overview of the research literature in each area to introduce major concepts and theories that are reinforced by evidence-based practice examples that illustrate clinical integration.
The structure of each chapter is similar and begins and closes with a case-study–type narrative, referred to as the Athlete Insider. Each chapter also contains Key Terms, Chapter Objectives, and End-of-Chapter Exercises to guide the reader to relevant concepts and to encourage critical thinking on associated topics. In addition, the discussion of Strategies and Competencies and Board of Certification (BOC) Style questions presented at the end of each chapter aim to provide the reader with a study tool for the BOC Examination.
The following special features are contained within this textbook and supplement the text:
Evidence-Based Practice: This feature summarizes peer-reviewed research and provides the reader with applications to athletic training practice. This feature is consistent with the profession’s emphasis on an evidence-based approach to care of the athlete.
Clinical Tips: This feature provides examples that the authors or contributors have used within their own clinical practice to integrate psychosocial strategies into athletic training.
Special Considerations: This feature may address gender considerations, cultural considerations, and/or special populations related to psychosocial aspects of athletic training.
Red Flag: This feature highlights issues related to the physical and psychological well-being and/or safety of athletes.
Virtual Field Trips: This feature provides links to resources and learning activities that can be found on the Internet to supplement the text.
Throughout this textbook, we made an effort to use consistent terminology and would like the reader to recognize that terminology varies across the literature, as well as nationally and internationally. The term psychosocial (i.e., the integration of psychological and social factors) related to injury, rehabilitation, and return to play is used throughout this textbook and is consistent with the terminology used within the fifth edition of the Athletic Training Education Competencies. Although we recognize the terms client and patient are preferred by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, we have chosen to use the term athlete throughout this textbook in reference to an active population. We have also focused on the traditional athletic settings but acknowledge that many athletic trainers work with participants in a range of competition levels (e.g., recreation to professional), with participants of all ages (e.g., youth to masters), and with active participants in settings outside of the sport domain (e.g., military personnel, industrial workers, performing artists).
To our readers: thank you for your consideration of integrating psychosocial strategies within your athletic training practice. Your dedication to those with whom you work will make all the difference in their recovery and return to participation.