Sports Medicine

, Volume 47, Issue 2, pp 353–365 | Cite as

Psychosocial Factors and Sport Injuries: Meta-analyses for Prediction and Prevention

  • Andreas IvarssonEmail author
  • Urban Johnson
  • Mark B. Andersen
  • Ulrika Tranaeus
  • Andreas Stenling
  • Magnus Lindwall
Systematic Review



Several studies have suggested that psychosocial variables can increase the risk of becoming injured during sport participation.


The main objectives of these meta-analyses were to examine (i) the effect sizes of relationships between the psychosocial variables (suggested as injury predictors in the model of stress and athletic injury) and injury rates, and (ii) the effects of psychological interventions aimed at reducing injury occurrence (prevention).


Electronic databases as well as specific sport and exercise psychology journals were searched. The literature review resulted in 48 published studies containing 161 effect sizes for injury prediction and seven effect sizes for injury prevention.


The results showed that stress responses (r = 0.27, 80 % CI [0.20, 0.33]) and history of stressors (r = 0.13, 80 % CI [0.11, 0.15]) had the strongest associations with injury rates. Also, the results from the path analysis showed that the stress response mediated the relationship between history of stressors and injury rates. For injury prevention studies, all studies included (N = 7) showed decreased injury rates in the treatment groups compared to control groups.


The results support the model’s suggestion that psychosocial variables, as well as psychologically, based interventions, can influence injury risk among athletes.


Life Event Stress Injury Rate Injury Prevention Injury Risk Sport Injury 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Compliance with Ethical Standards


No sources of funding were used to assist in the preparation of this article.

Conflict of interest

Andreas Ivarsson, Urban Johnson, Mark Andersen, Ulrika Tranaeus, Andreas Stenling, and Magnus Lindwall declare that they have no conflicts of interest relevant to the content of this review.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andreas Ivarsson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Urban Johnson
    • 1
  • Mark B. Andersen
    • 1
  • Ulrika Tranaeus
    • 2
  • Andreas Stenling
    • 3
  • Magnus Lindwall
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Center of Research on Welfare, Health and SportHalmstad UniversityHalmstadSweden
  2. 2.Department of Molecular Medicine and SurgeryKarolinska InstituteStockholmSweden
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUmeå UniversityUmeåSweden
  4. 4.Department of Food and Nutrition, and Sport ScienceUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden
  5. 5.Department of PsychologyUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden

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