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Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of an injury prevention programme for adult male amateur soccer players: design of a cluster-randomised controlled trial
  1. Anna M C van Beijsterveldt1,
  2. Mark R Krist1,
  3. Sandor L Schmikli1,
  4. Janine H Stubbe2,
  5. G Ardine de Wit3,
  6. Han Inklaar4,
  7. Ingrid G L van de Port1,
  8. Frank J G Backx1
  1. 1University Medical Centre Utrecht, Department of Rehabilitation, Nursing Science & Sports, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  2. 2Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO Quality of Life, Department of Health Promotion), Leiden, The Netherlands
  3. 3Julius Centre for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  4. 4Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) Sport Medical Centre, Zeist, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Anna MC van Beijsterveldt, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Department of Rehabilitation, Nursing Science & Sports F00.810, PO Box 85500, 3508 GA Utrecht, The Netherlands; a.m.c.beijsterveldt{at}


Background and aims Approximately 16% of all sports injuries in the Netherlands are caused by outdoor soccer. A cluster-randomised controlled trial has been designed to investigate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of an injury prevention programme (‘The11’) for male amateur soccer players. The injury prevention programme The11, developed with the support of the World Football Association FIFA, aims to reduce the impact of intrinsic injury risk factors in soccer.

Methods Teams playing at first-class amateur level in two districts in the Netherlands are participating in the study. Teams in the intervention group were instructed to apply The11 during each practice session throughout the 2009–10 season. All participants of the control group continued their practice sessions as usual. All soccer-related injuries and related costs for each team were systematically reported online by a member of the medical staff. Player exposure to practice sessions and matches was reported weekly by the coaches. Also the use of The11 during the season after the intervention season will be monitored.

Discussion Our hypothesis is that integrating the The11 exercises in the warm-up for each practice session is effective in terms of injury incidence, injury severity, healthcare use, and its associated costs and/or absenteeism. Prevention of soccer injuries is expected to be beneficial to adult soccer players, soccer clubs, the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB), health insurance companies and society.

  • Soccer
  • injuries
  • prevention
  • effectiveness
  • cost-effectiveness
  • economics
  • methods
  • program
  • sports

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  • This study is registered in the Dutch Trial Register as NTR2416.

  • Funding The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw), Laan van Nieuw Oost Indië 334, The Hague, the Netherlands and Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) Sport Medical Centre, Woudenbergseweg 56–58, Zeist, The Netherlands.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval The study protocol has been approved by the Medical Ethics Committee of the University Medical Centre Utrecht, reference number 08/263.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; not externally peer reviewed.

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