Psychology can help improve patient rehabilitation

Megan Granquist, director of the athletic training program and professor of kinesiology, gives a presentation on “Psychosocial Considerations for Rehabilitation of the Injured Athletic Patient,” with a goal to improve the quality of patient care in the athletic training field, to an online audience Feb. 16 as part of the faculty lecture series. / screenshot by Rachel Kendrick
Megan Granquist, director of the athletic training program and professor of kinesiology, gives a presentation on “Psychosocial Considerations for Rehabilitation of the Injured Athletic Patient,” with a goal to improve the quality of patient care in the athletic training field, to an online audience Feb. 16 as part of the faculty lecture series. / screenshot by Rachel Kendrick

Abelina Nunez
Staff Writer

Megan Granquist, professor of kinesiology and director of the athletic training program, discussed her research on the psychology of patient rehabilitation in athletic training Feb. 16 at her faculty lecture held via Zoom titled “Psychosocial Considerations for Rehabilitation of the Injured Athletic Patient,” which 26 students, faculty and staff attended.

“I am giving you an overview of athletic training, sort of my overall line of research, and a chapter that was recently published as well,” Granquist said. “So I look at the whole gamut of athletic injury from pre-injury to post-injury to rehabilitation and then to the outcome.”

She focused on pre-injury factors like stress, coping or a personality variable that might increase or decrease the injury risk. In post-injury, she focused on the emotional and behavioral responses to the injury. Finally, she focused on rehabilitation like strengthening and motion and the outcomes.

“I look at this certain line, really to aim to improve patient care, and I started out with data collection and dabbled in measurement development. Recently my work has been more on the application of this knowledge and having this knowledge translated so athletic trainers and practitioners can use it to better the patient care, which is my line of research,” Granquist said.

Granquist spoke on the content she added within chapter 4 of “Rehabilitation Techniques for Sports Medicine and Athletic Training,” which she recently rewrote. At first, Granquist was only asked to update the chapter by the author of the textbook, William Prentice, but she said she decided to rewrite it completely.

“I am so proud of the work we have done in this chapter, and I turn in the chapter and get an email back from Dr. Prentice saying, ‘I am truly overwhelmed… The content is way beyond anything I could have imagined,'” Granquist said.

After reading the chapter, the athletic training students should be able to understand how goal setting, patient education, self-talk and social support can be incorporated into rehabilitation.

“These four strategies of psychosocial strategies are what we identify as athletic trainers within their training should be able to effectively do with their patients to enhance infusion care,” Granquist said.

She used the four psychological strategies to help with rehabilitation: goal setting, patient education, self-talk, and social support and referral.

Granquist focused on the roles of antecedents, adherence and outcomes. The antecedents could be what happens before or can influence the outcomes, while adherence is the link between antecedents and outcomes.

“We sort of have two categories of non-adherence. We have under-adherence and over-adherence. Under-adherence is where the patient does less than the rehabilitation program calls for, while over-adherence is where the patient does more than the rehabilitation program calls for,” Granquist explained.

Granquist gave a few examples of adherence-related behaviors of adherence:

  • Arriving at a rehabilitation session on time.
  • Attending rehabilitation seasons, following athletic trainers’ instructions for the amount of exercise repetitions.
  • Completing activities with effort.

At the end of the lecture, a few participants had questions and comments for Granquist.

“Could it be that people do not appear to their rehabilitation because if they are being told what to do, they do the opposite since they feel like their freedom is taken away?” Ngoc Bui, interim associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said.

Granquist responded, “Yes. Even if they don’t, they get to decide whether they strengthen their quadriceps muscle; they might give them choices of how they could do that exercise.”

Charles Doskow, professor of law, asked for clarification on a reference to religion Granquist made during the presentation.

“I have started doing work in interfaith practices and patient care, so helping athletic trainers and other medical professionals recognize how a patient identity relates to their religion, spirituality and secular identity to enhance patient care,” Granquist said.

Rick Hasse, instructor of accounting and finance, said that he could relate to what Granquist was talking about during the presentation.

“I can relate to your rehab about the injured athlete because to this day, I am still feeling the effects of injuries I witnessed in the ‘70s, and that has been part of my life processes,” Hasse said.

Abelina Nunez can be reached at abelina.nunez@laverne.edu.

Abelina J. Nuñez, senior journalism major, is a photography editor for Campus Times and staff photographer for La Verne Magazine. She previously served as LV Life editor, arts editor social media editor and staff writer. In Fall 2023, Nuñez was La Verne Magazine's editor-in-chief and was previously a staff writer as well. Her work can be found on Instagram @abelinajnunezphoto.

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