A History of Previous Severe Injury and Health-Related Quality of Life among Former Collegiate Athletes

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© by the National Athletic Trainers' Association, Inc. Context: Empirical evidence supports the idea that previous severe injuries in former collegiate athletes may adversely affect their ability to participate in daily activities later in life, which may then decrease their health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Objective: To assess the influences of previous severe injuries on the HRQOL of former National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) athletes. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Online survey. Patients or Other Participants: A total of 171 former NCAA collegiate athletes (69 men, 102 women; age ¼ 29.7 6 3.9 years, height ¼ 171.5 6 10.4 cm, mass ¼ 76.4 6 12.9 kg) participated. All individuals completed a demographics questionnaire and the Short Form-36 version 2 (SF-36v2) Health Survey via Qualtrics. Main Outcome Measure(s): The dependent variables were the physical composite and mental composite summary scores and the 8 subscales of the SF-36v2. The independent variable was the presence of previous severe injury (history of a severe injury or no history of a severe injury during collegiate athletics). Two multivariate analyses of variance were conducted. The first multivariate analysis of variance was conducted for the 8 SF-36v2 subscales and the second for the 2 summary scores. Results: For the summary scores and all 8 SF-36v2 subscales, the responses were worse for the 103 former collegiate athletes who sustained a previous severe injury compared with the 68 who did not sustain a severe injury. The largest difference between groups was for the physical composite score, with a mean difference of 15.8 points (1.5 standard deviations worse than the US population); the physical functioning subscale demonstrated a mean difference of 12.9 points (1.3 standard deviations worse than the US population). Conclusions: A majority of the athletes in our sample had experienced a severe injury. Based on these data, previous severe injuries had a negative influence on the HRQOL of former NCAA collegiate athletes.