The role of sport-based social networks in the management of long-term health conditions: Insights from the World Transplant Games

Gareth Wiltshire, Nicola J. Clarke, Cassandra Phoenix, Carl Bescoby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the context of an increasing clinical need to better support self-managemt for people living with long-term health conditions an interest in the role of social networks has emerged. Given that sport participation often provides opportunities for social engagement, a space to explore Self-managemt at the intersection of medical sociology and the sociology of sport has opened up. This article presents findings from an exploratory qualitative study with organ transplant recipients who have participated in Transplant Games events – national and international multi-sport competitions for organ transplant recipients. Our findings illustrate how sport-based Social networks serve as resources for health-related knowledge, provide participants with additional affective support and help shape health expectations for the future. Although sport-based Social networks were seen as an overwhelmingly positive resource for our participants, it is plausible that harmful unintended consequences could arise for patients with existing Self-managemt issues. As such, it is recommended that people seeking to use sport as a tool to enhance illness Self-managemt should consider the various and powerful ways that Social networks can be impactful and anticipate the potential consequences accordingly.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Review for the Sociology of Sport
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Dec 2020


  • medicine
  • organ transplantation
  • self-management
  • social networks
  • sport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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