Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts






college athlete, health, coverage, orthopedics


This study explores the effects of various health determinants on the ability of a college athlete to recover from a sport’s injury. Blum's Model of Health Determinants explains that there are four factors that contribute to the overall health of an individual: lifestyle, environment, medical services and heredity. Blum argued that each factor affects health to a different degree. To understand how each of these determinants affects an athlete’s recovery, different people involved in this process were interviewed, including coaches, trainers, athletes and sports psychologists. These interviews illustrated the need for an expansion within this model of health. While all four of these determinants are critical for the athlete to recover, one aspect that is not discussed in this model is mental health. The mental aspects discussed by every individual interviewed emphasized how significant this mental health role is within the recovery of an athlete. Implications of this research include the movement towards a more holistic understanding of health. By highlighting the mental aspects of recovery, the field of orthopedics has pioneered the need for a restructure of how health care views mental health, fielding the need for changes within various organizations such as the government, medical schools, and the American Medical Association. Currently, society and practitioners within fields of medicine beyond orthopedics are grappling with the link between mind and body. The results of this study indicate the need for this recognition within the orthopedic field as well as throughout other fields of medicine.