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Risk factors for injury and severe injury in youth ice hockey: a systematic review of the literature

Abstract

Objective To identify risk factors for injury in youth ice hockey (ie, body checking, age, player position, player experience and level of play).

Study design Systematic review and meta-analysis.

Methods A systematic review of the literature, including a meta-analysis component was completed. Ten electronic databases and the American Society for Testing and Materials Safety in Ice Hockey series (volumes 1–4) were systematically searched with strict inclusion and exclusion criteria to identify articles examining risk factors for injury in youth ice hockey.

Results Participation in games, compared with practices, was associated with an increased risk of injury in all studies examined. Age, level of play and player position produced inconsistent findings. Body checking was identified as a significant risk factor for all injuries (summary rate ratio: 2.45; 95% CI 1.7 to 3.6) and concussion (summary odds ratio: 1.71; 95% CI 1.2 to 2.44).

Conclusions Findings regarding most risk factors for injury remain inconclusive; however, body checking was found to be associated with an increased risk of injury. Policy implications regarding delaying body checking to older age groups and to only the most elite levels requires further rigorous investigation.

  • Risk factors
  • body checking
  • ice hockey
  • youth
  • athletic injury
  • adolescent
  • safe community
  • systematic review
  • child
  • sports
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