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976 Multiple injuries in team ball sports – how are data collected and analysed? A systematic review
  1. Lauren Fortington1,
  2. Caroline Finch1,
  3. Inge van den Akker-Scheek2,
  4. Henk van der Worp2
  1. 1Federation University Australia, Australia
  2. 2University of Groningen, Netherlands


Background A major challenge in sports injury research is that many athletes experience multiple injuries, therefore contributing more than once to the injury tally. Capturing this multiple individual contribution in estimates of sports injury incidence is difficult. The aim of this study is to report how >1 individual injury is defined and reported in prospective, long term, sports injury epidemiology studies in team ball sports.

Methods The review was performed and reported according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) Statement with a systematic search in 3 databases to August 2014. Studies were included if all types of injury were reported in team ball sport participants, with data collected prospectively over >1 calendar year or two consecutive sporting seasons. Details on injury definitions, with attention to multiple injuries, were independently extracted by two authors.

Results From 6518 studies, 54 met all inclusion criteria. Injuries or injured players tend to be pooled (grouped) over the whole time period and injury incidence reported as an overall total or annual counts/rates. Both options ignore the potential relationship between injuries sustained by the same individual, within or across seasons. Summarised injury data for the whole cohort was presented even though data collection was in individuals that could have facilitated a more detailed exploration of the relationships between subsequent injuries within those individuals.

Conclusions The way data have been reported in previous sports injury epidemiological studies significantly hinders the ability to provide robust evidence about subsequent injuries. Both an underreporting of new injury incidence and overestimation of injury recurrence can occur if there is no reporting of multiple/subsequent injuries. Ultimately, injury prevention efforts rely on accurate incidence estimates and ongoing developments in this area can only enhance the field.

  • Sports injury
  • injury incidence
  • systematic review
  • subsequent injuries

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