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Towards a national sports safety strategy: addressing facilitators and barriers towards safety guideline uptake
  1. Caroline F Finch1,
  2. Belinda J Gabbe2,
  3. David G Lloyd3,
  4. Jill Cook4,
  5. Warren Young5,
  6. Matthew Nicholson6,
  7. Hugh Seward7,
  8. Alex Donaldson1,
  9. Tim L A Doyle8
  1. 1Australian Centre for Research into Injury in Sport and its Prevention (ACRISP), Monash Injury Research Institute (MIRI) Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia
  2. 2Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  3. 3Musculoskeletal Research Program, Griffith Health Institute, Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus, Queensland, Australia
  4. 4Department of Physiotherapy, School of Primary Health Care, Monash University, Frankston, Victoria, Australia
  5. 5School of Human Movement and Sport Sciences, University of Ballarat, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
  6. 6Centre for Sport and Social Impact, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria, Australia
  7. 7Australian Football League (AFL) Medical Officers Association, AFL, Docklands, Victoria, Australia
  8. 8Human Protection and Performance Division, Defence Science Technology Organisation, Fishermens Bend, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Professor Caroline F Finch, Australian Centre for Research into Injury in Sport and its Prevention (ACRISP), Monash Injury Research Institute (MIRI), Monash University, Clayton Campus, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; caroline.finch{at}


Background Limited information exists about how best to conduct intervention implementation studies in community sport settings. Research should be directed towards understanding the context within which evidence-based injury prevention interventions are to be implemented, while continuing to build the evidence-base for the effectiveness of sports injury interventions.

Objectives To identify factors that influence the translation of evidence-based injury prevention interventions into practice in community sport, and to provide specific evidence for the effectiveness of an evidence-based exercise training programme for lower limb injury prevention in community Australian football.

Setting Community-level Australian football clubs, teams and players.

Methods An exercise-based lower limb injury prevention programme will be developed and evaluated in terms of the implementation context, infrastructure and resources needed for its effective translation into community sport. Analysis of the community sports safety policy context will be undertaken to understand the barriers and facilitators to policy development and uptake. A randomised group-clustered ecological study will be conducted to compare the reach, effectiveness, adoption, implementation and maintenance (RE-AIM) of the intervention over 2 years.

Outcome Measures The primary outcome will be evidence-based prevention guidelines that are fully supported by a comprehensively evaluated dissemination plan. The plan will detail the support structures and add-ons necessary to ensure sustainability and subsequent national implementation. Research outcomes will include new knowledge about how sports safety policy is set, how consensus is reached among sports safety experts in the community setting and how evidence-based safety guidelines are best developed, packaged and disseminated to community sport.

  • Evaluation
  • sports

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  • Funding This study protocol is funded by a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) partnership project grant (ID 565907) with additional support (both cash and in kind) from the project partner agencies: the Australian Football League (AFL); Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth); NSW Sporting Injuries Committee (NSWSIC); JLT Sport, a division of Jardine Lloyd Thompson Australia Pty Ltd; the Department of Planning and Community Development – Sport and Recreation Victoria Division (SRV); and Sports Medicine Australia – National and Victorian Branches (SMA). CFF is supported by a NHMRC principal research fellowship (ID 565900). BJG is supported by an NHMRC career development award (ID 465103). The Australian Centre for Research into Injury in Sport and its Prevention (ACRISP) is one of the international research centres for prevention of injury and protection of athlete health supported by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The funding partners provided editorial input into the protocol.

  • Competing interests None.

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