Considerations and Interpretation of Sports Injury Prevention Studies

This time a more methodologically oriented manuscript that aims to aid the clinician to make better sense of research methodology on injury prevention. We hope this manuscript will help clinicians to better assess whether a published research finding is valid and applicable for their context. Accordingly, this article is meant to be a resource for sport clinicians to understand and interpret (1) study design, (2) outcome measures, and (3) statistics in sports injuries prevention research. This should provide a foundation of knowledge for clinicians on the decision-making process to apply research findings in the area of injury prevention in practice.

This article provides a summary of the study designs, outcome measures, and common types of data analysis of sports injury prevention studies. There is no strict principle that should always be followed to ensure success in sports injury prevention research. Clinicians can use the information provided in this article to consider research findings and their context before applying preventative measures in practice.

 

 An illustrative comparison between injury rate (ie, the number of injuries per 1000 player-hours of exposure to sport) and injury burden (ie, the number of sessions lost due to injury per 1000 player-hours of exposure to sport) when assessing the effectiveness of a preventative strategy in youth field hockey.

An illustrative comparison between injury rate (ie, the number of injuries per 1000 player-hours of exposure to sport) and injury burden (ie, the number of sessions lost due to injury per 1000 player-hours of exposure to sport) when assessing the effectiveness of a preventative strategy in youth field hockey.

Key messages

  • Study designs on sports injury prevention are prospective by default, and clinicians should consider the external validity of findings before applying preventative measures in their context.

  • Injuries and injury rates should not be the sole outcome of injury prevention studies while outcomes of injury prevention efforts are also measurable in terms of severity, burden, and compliance/adherence to preventative strategies.

  • Sports injury prevention studies should provide a clear definition of what was considered an injury in the study, data on sport exposure, severity of injury, and compliance/adherence to preventative measures.

The full paper can be accessed here

Delfino Barboza S, Rössler R, Verhagen E. Considerations and Interpretation of Sports Injury Prevention Studies. Clin Sports Med 2018;37:413–25. doi:10.1016/j.csm.2018.03.006