Return to Play (RTP) and psychological aspects associated: A systematic review

Veronica Gómez Espejo, Enrique Ortega, Aldo Gonzalez Reyes, Aurelio Olmedilla


This review aim to examine the researches that address the association between Return to Play (RTP) and psychological factors in athletes. To this end, a systematic review of the literature was conducted, taking in consideration PRISMA guidelines. As keywords were used: return to play and sport and psycho* and injur*. Base data used were “Web of Science”. Inclusion criteria were: 1) address at least one psychological variable, 2) to be empirical investigation and 3) not to be a validation. 70 articles were obtained, which were reduced to 29. The results show a direct relationship between the influence of psychological factors and the time and quality that the athlete uses in rehabilitation and return to play. The time spent in rehabilitation and the early withdrawal of the athlete from his activity after the injury seems to be decisive for the correct RTP. The importance of understanding the psychosocial aspects that are part of the rehabilitation process is discussed. The fear of a re-injury, the sport level prior to the injury, the personality traits and the psychological disposition to play again were very important for the RTP.


Return to Play; Sport; Psychology; Injuries

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