OBJECTIVE: to examine psychological factors during rehabilitation of patients with Achilles or patellar tendinopathy as well as the association between psychological factors and tendinopathy severity, sport participation, and satisfaction with activity level and tendon function.
DESIGN: cross-sectional study.
SETTING: online survey platform.
PARTICIPANTS: 119 patients (mean age: 44 years (SD 14)) diagnosed with Achilles or patellar tendinopathy.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: A range of patient-reported psychological and outcome measures were recorded. Multivariate regression analyses were performed to establish the association between each psychological factor and outcome measures, adjusted for relevant confounders.
RESULTS: Psychological readiness and confidence to return to sports (I-PRRS) and pain catastrophizing (PCS) were significantly associated with tendinopathy severity (modified VISA), sport participation(OSTRC-O), and satisfaction. Kinesiophobia (TSK) and the importance to patients of returning to pre-injury activity level were significantly associated with sports participation and satisfaction.
CONCLUSION: The current study provides evidence of impairments in psychological factors during rehabilitation of patients with Achilles and patellar tendinopathy. Most investigated psychological factors were associated with tendinopathy severity, function, participation, and satisfaction. Physical therapists should recognize patients with lack of psychological readiness to return to sports and also patients with kinesiophobia or catastrophizing thoughts when experiencing pain.