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.
A secondary analysis of the’11+ Kids’ trial showed a large preventive effect on severe injuries by investing only 15 to 20 min per training session. There was a reduction of severe overall (HR 0.42, 95% CI 0.24 to 0.72), match (0.41, 0.17 to 0.95) and training injuries (0.42, 0.21 to 0.86) in INT. The present study should raise clinicians’ and coaches’ awareness towards the ‘11+ Kids’ as an effective injury prevention programme.
Relationships between load, load capacity, performance and health are topics of contemporary interest. At what intensity should an athlete train to achieve the best physiological response? How much (or little) can an athlete train without detri- mentally affecting health? Most studies addressing such questions have used a reductionist approach wherein factors were studied in isolation, thereby ignoring the complex inter-relationships and balance between factors. This editorial discusses the association between load and load capacity, and their relationship with athlete performance and health. It illustrates the practical use of a model for the management of athlete performance and health, and provide directions for future practice and research.
Despite the availability of high quality evidence, compliance to interventions that protect athletes’ health is low. Consequently, evidence-based programs are not achieving their optimal effect in real-life athletic situations. Implementation and knowledge translation are the contemporary incantations to resolve this apparent gap between science and practice. This has provided us novel research questions and challenges that follow on efficacious outcomes. Most of these questions are not answered through quantifiable outcomes measures as they revolve around user behaviors. This editorial argues that if we want to know why athletes and coaches behave as they do, and what barriers there may be to changing their behavior, qualitative research can be used to give athletes and coaches a voice.
We are excited to have been a partner in this important editorial that touches the core of our views and recent approaches to injury prevention (also read this). This editorial highlights the importance of adherence in sport injury prevention research and practice, and provides a framework to raise the bar for sport injury prevention adherence research.
Fresh from the press, out of our collaboration with the University of Capetown. Youth rugby union is a popular sport with a high injury incidence density (IID) and burden. This high risk has called for further research into the factors affecting the injuries in youth rugby. The aim of the study was to analyse time-loss IID and burden in multiple schoolboy rugby teams over a season and the potential factors associated with injury.
Exercise-based injury prevention strategies in sports have been frequently evaluated. The majority of trials have been conducted in team sports, such as basketball, volleyball, football (soccer) and tackle collision ball sports (eg, rugby union). For individual sports, the literature is limited to running athletes. Given the global individual sports participation exceeds team participation, the lack of evidence-based prevention intervention is a call for action. Previously, intervention mapping (IM) was commonly applied for the development of preventive interventions. However, a novel programme, the Knowledge Transfer Scheme (KTS), was recently published. The KTS is a practical five-step tool for developing intervention strategies in sports. The fundament of the KTS is the direct translation of evidence into practice. Prospected users are involved throughout the KTS process. The KTS can thus lead to a more evidence-based and user-friendly product or programme. Using KTS, in this project an e-health intervention was developed for recreational tennis players in the Netherlands.
Implementation of an effective ankle injury prevention program through either an interactive App or a Booklet, showed similar outcomes on the short and the long run. Not only did both methods result in comparable compliance rates during the 8 weeks of the program, both methods also led to comparable ankle sprain recurrence rates and costs after one year of follow-up. Both the App and the Booklet can be used successfully and with the same cost efficiency. Apps are, as such, not necessarily always better.
Our latest study provides knowledge on the magnitude, severity, and nature of injuries experienced by elite field-hockey players. While injuries may hamper players’ performance and availability for training and competing, prevention is essential in field-hockey, and the use of protective equipment has been encouraged in previous studies. The use of protective equipment is important for injury prevention. However, the present study shows that non- contact injuries, that may not be preventable with protective gear, are also a burden on field hockey players' health. In sports, these injuries may be prevented with structured exercise, and load management. Therefore, the investigation of such strategies is encouraged in elite field-hockey.
Last Monday - May 7th 2018 - Evert Verhagen held his inaugural lecture entitled "Citius, Altius, Fortius: About the future of Sports, Physical Activity & Health". Through this lecture he accepted his university chair as a professor on 'Physical Activity, Sports, and Health'. We now make the transcript of his lecture available. Both the Dutch (original) version and English version (translated; pardon the typo's) can be downloaded in pdf format. Also the slides of his lecture (unfortunately only in Dutch) are up for grabs. We are sure Evert is keen on answering any of your questions in relation to his lecture, so do not hesitate to drop him a line if you wish.
Disseminating effective injury prevention exercise programs across sporting environments is a way of preventing injuries and ensuring safe and sustainable sport participation. After all, evidence on preventvie effectiveness is only useful when it is also employed by the end-users in a practical setting. Unfortunately, this shift from science to practice is still not efficiently made. Therefore, the aim of this study was to explore community-Australian Football coaches’ perspectives on the strategies they believed would enhance the dissemination and scale-up of prevention exercise programs.