We are a research group within the Department of Public and Occupational Health of the Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc, in The Netherlands. Our research deals with the relationship between physical activity and health. Sufficient levels of physical activity are a necessity for good health, but also entail a risk of injury.
We got the opportunity to contribute with our thoughts on implementation in a special edition of Best Practice & Research Clinical Rheumatology. Although safety in sports and physical activity is an important prerequisite for continuing participation and maintenance of a healthy, physically active lifestyle, to date little effort has been placed upon moving evidence into preventive practice. Amongst researchers it is still often assumed that a program will disseminate itself after proven to be effective. Recently, however, there has been an increased recognition of the importance of theory-driven approaches to enhance implementation research. This manuscript aims to provide guidance for sports and physical activity injury researchers and practitioners to perform implementation research and practice.
Hot off the press comes this publication by our own Caroline Bolling. Proud to say her qualitative work has created waves and found its way to the British Journal of Sports Medici e. This particular study explored how sports injury prevention takes place in elite sport practice and to describe the perspectives of athletes, coaches and physiotherapists regarding the most critical factors that help prevent injury in the elite sports context.
This latest article to which we contributed, assessed knee health in retired female football players, using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and self-report. The focus of analysis were degenerative changes of the tibiofemoral joint, and their relationship to osteoarthritis symptoms and previous knee injury. Serious degenerative changes were found in a high number of former elite female football players knees as soon as 10years after their professional career with a significant impact on their QOL.
Field hockey is a popular sport worldwide. However, it entails a risk of injury. Injuries hamper players’ participation in the sport and impose a burden on public health. Our latest study - just published in the Journal of Athletic Training - investigated the effectiveness of a structured exercise program among youth field hockey players on the injury rate, severity, and burden.
Balance tests are commonly used in clinical practice with applicability in injury prevention and return to sport decisions. While most sports injuries occur in a changing environment where reacting to a non-planned stimulus is of great importance, these balance tests only evaluate pre-planned movements without taking these dynamics environmental aspects into account. Therefore, the goal of this paper was to describe the development of a clinician-friendly test that respects these contextual interactions and to describe the test protocol of an adapted Y-balance test that includes environmental perception and decision-making.
Talented athletes use metacognitive skills to improve their performance. Also, it is known that these skills are important for managing one's health. The goal of this study was to identify the relationship between metacognitive skills and overuse injuries in talented tennis players.
Better late than never .. this one was published some months ago, but we failed to share it yet. The “Strengthen Your Ankle” neuromuscular training program has been thoroughly studied over the past 8 years. This process evaluation is a part of a randomized controlled trial that examined both the short- and long-term effectiveness of this particular program. Although it was shown previously that the program, available both in a printed booklet and as a mobile app, is able to effectively reduce the number of recurrent ankle sprains, participants’ compliance with the program is an ongoing challenge. This process evaluation explored participants’ opinions regarding both methods of delivery.
Another one of our qualitative studies just got published. It is good to see that the value and importance of this important methodology is gaining attention. In this study Marelise Badenhorst applied a qualitative approach to describe rugby players’ perceptions of the immediate management of rugby-related acute spinal cord injuries (ASCIs). These findings are relevant for all rugby stakeholders and may help shape education, awareness, and future policy around the immediate management of ASCIs.
Just published in Sports Medicine, this systematic review was to identify prospective studies that used a criteria-based return to sport (RTS) decision-making process for patients with lateral ankle sprain (LAS) injury. We found that currently there are no published evidence-based criteria to inform RTS decisions for patients with an LAS injury. A narrative synthesis proposed a number of variables that could be used to develop a criteria-based RTS decision paradigm.
Just recently our own Nicola Sewry successfully defended her thesis “The Effectiveness and Implementation of the BokSmart Safe Six Injury Prevention Programme”. In her project - which was a joint effort between the University of Capetown and our group - she set out to investigate whether the SA Rugby SafeSix injury prevention program was effective for the prevention of rugby related injuries in South African Youth Rugby. Positive results .. but some more work needs to be done on this horizon.