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.
We are riding a streak of rugby related manuscripts this week. This one just appeared at BMJ Open today. Rugby-related spinal cord injuries (SCIs) are rare but life altering and traumatic events. Little is known about the long-term consequences and outcomes of players who have sustained these injuries. This descriptive cross-sectional study investigated current quality of life (QoL) and factors associated with QoL, among individuals with rugby-related SCI in South Africa.
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.
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.
We are proud of this one .. just popped up online today. It is possible to prevent sports injuries. Unfortunately, the demonstrated efficacy and effectiveness of injury prevention approaches are not translated into lasting real-world effects. Contemporary views in sports medicine and injury prevention suggest that sports injuries are ‘complex’ phenomena. If the problem we aim to prevent is complex, then the first step in the ‘sequence of prevention’ that defines the ‘injury problem’ already needs to have considered this. The purpose of this paper was to revisit the first step of the ‘sequence of prevention’, and to explore new perspectives that acknowledge the complexity of the sports injury problem.
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.
We are very pleased to have been involved in this one. This guideline aimed to advance current understandings regarding the diagnosis, prevention and therapeutic interventions for ankle sprains by updating the existing guideline and incorporate new research. A secondary objective was to provide an update related to the cost-effectiveness of diagnostic procedures, therapeutic interventions and prevention strategies. It was posited that subsequent interaction of clinicians with this guideline could help reduce health impairments and patient burden associated with this prevalent musculoskeletal injury.
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.
Last Monday (7th of May) we organised the symposium "From the Playgrounds to the Olympics". The program combined the latest research and practice on physcial activity promotion with the state-of-the-art in regards to sports performance and athlete health protection. A wooping line-up of established and emerging researchers combined their scientific insights with knowledge for practice. Certainly a motivational and inspirational day. For those of you who could not join, we have recorded the entire day.
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.
The Head in the Game study investigates the impact of contact sports participation on neurocognitive function. For our investigation in the Netherlands we are currently looking for female participants aged 30+.
To overcome the problem of complexity, many scientists simplify or reduce this complexity by disassembling the complex system into their single units. Without argue, reductionism has been the basis of most scientific fields. However, an athlete is a complex system with non-linear relationships between biomechanical, behavioural, physiological, and psychological factors. It is the interaction between these individual components that give rise to the collective behaviour of the active and rehabilitating athlete, and as such determines succes of our efforts.
It has been a bit quiet lately, but we have not been laying back. Just released in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, our cost-effectiveness analysis that compares a mobile App versus a paper-based injury prevention program.
Hidde P. van der Ploeg and Melvyn Hillsdon recently published a paper in the International Journal of Bahavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity that summarizes both the arguments in favour and against the general statement of the debate: “Is sedentary behaviour just physical inactivity by another name?”
Annika Prien, who is a visiting PhD in our group, just published this important review on the incidence of concussions and other head injuries in elite level football, rugby, ice hockey and American Football. Although injuries to the head represent a small proportion of all sport injuries, they are of great concern due to their potential long-term consequences, which are even suspected in mild traumatic brain injuries. She concluded that future research should focus on concussion in women’s contact sports, as there is little evidence available in this area.
We doen momenteel onderzoek naar de behandeling van Achillespees klachten bij hardlopers door middel van een randomized controlled trial. Hierbij vergelijken we de werkzaamheid van twee verschillende therapieën. Voor dit onderzoek zijn we op zoek naar participanten: recreatieve hardlopers met klachten aan de Achillespees.
Have you ever wondered why some patients do not adhere to drug prescrip- tions despite warnings regarding the health consequences of non-adherence? The simple reason is that it takes more than just a prescription and education to get patients to take their drugs. A similar scenario has become apparent in the field of sport injury prevention. This editorial provides a framework to raise the bar for sport injury prevention adherence research.
On Monday May 7th, I will hold my inaugural lecture to accept my professorship on ‘Epidemiology of Physical Activity, Sports & Health’ at the VU University of Amsterdam.
My journey up to now has been a team effort to create safe sports for everyone. In honour of all who has contributed to this achievement, I would like to invite you to join our symposium on this festive day.
Please join us on this - free ion charge - day to learn about our journey from physical activity promotion to protecting the health of our Olympic heroes.
2017 was a great for the team in terms of publications. We have been involved in 59 peer reviewed publications that saw the day of light last year; 34 on the topic 'sports & health', and 25 on the topic of 'physical activity & health'. We have started 2018 with flying inspiration, so we hope to reach out with great work in the coming months again.
We are proud to have been involved in this one. The age-specific warm-up program “11+ Kids” has been tested regarding its potential to reduce football (soccer) injuries in children. In total, 243 teams with around 3900 young football players from Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, and Czech Republic took part in this study. Together with our International colleagues we found considerable protective benefits against injuries.
After a successful symposium with over 150 participants in 2017, the second implementation conference will take place at Friday February 9, 2018 in Amsterdam. Its themed: Improving implementation practice: a one-day implementation science conference.
Also in research collaborations provide opportunities greater than the sum of its parts. We have been lucky enough to collaborate extensively in the recently granted project "Citius, Altius, Sanius". In this new, wide-ranging research project, universities, businesses and sports organisations are set to join forces in an effort to reduce this large number of sports injuries with the help of technology.
Our latest publication involves the determination in the change of knowledge of coaches and players about the Safe Six injury prevention programme in South African Rugby. We hoped that the knowledge would increase following a ‘targeted marketing approach’ that drew attention to the programme.
We are honoured and proud to let you know that the VU University Amsterdam has awarded our own Evert Verhagen a VU University Research Chair, by which he will be appointed as Professor of Epidemiology of Sports, Physical Activity and Health per January 1st 2018. The VU University Research Chair is a selective and privileged appointment as full professor. The chair has been created to recognize and reward outstanding scholars currently at the rank equivalent to associate professor who are acknowledged by their peers as upcoming leaders in their research field.
As the detrimental health effects of sedentary behaviour are well established, insight into the individual and environmental factors that influence adults’ sedentary behaviour is needed. Most studies to date rely on self-reported measures of sedentary time. Therefore, the aim of our most recently published study was to examine the individual and environmental correlates of objectively measured sedentary time in Dutch and Belgian adults.
Athletes can only perform at their best level when in full health. The library of evidence on this notion has increased considerably over the past decade and health monitoring of health athletes has gained a lot of ground recently. With contemporary technologies and methodologies we are now able to monitor athlete's health continuously, by which we are better equipped to protect their health and aid athletes to gain their performance goals. We wondered though, what are the acceptability and the perceptions of athletes and staff members (ie, end-users) towards such online sports-health surveillance systems. In our latest paper we sought an answer to this question.
Vincent Gouttebarge, one of our ACHSS colleagues, is an expert on Common Mental Disorders (CMD) in current and former high level athletes. This recent study, which he led, aimed to determine the prevalence and comorbidity of symptoms of common mental disorders among current and former Dutch elite athletes, and to explore the inference between potential risk indicators and the outcomes measures under investigation.