Article Text

Download PDFPDF

157 The population-level impact of exercise training programs to prevent sports injuries – a controlled ecological evaluation based on reductions in hospital-treated injuries
  1. Caroline F Finch1,
  2. Muhammad Akram1,
  3. Alex Donaldson1,
  4. Belinda Gabbe2,
  5. David Lloyd3,
  6. Jill Cook1,4
  1. 1Federation University Australia
  2. 2Monash University Australia
  3. 3Griffith University Australia
  4. 4LaTrobe University Australia


Background To date, there have been very few attempts at setting broad-based sports injury prevention public health activity. A staged and evidence-informed approach towards developing and delivering a new lower limb injury prevention program (FootyFirst) for community-level Australian football. The National Guidance for Australian football Partnerships for Safety (NoGAPS) study is one of the first large-scale studies to use a controlled, ecological design to assess the effectiveness of a sports injury prevention intervention at the population-level. The aim of this talk is to present the population-level evaluation of FootyFirst

Methods FootyFirst was implemented during the 2012 and 2013 football seasons and its impact on injury rate evaluated through a controlled ecological study design applied to three distinct geographic regions (R1-3). Each region received a different combination of program + delivery mode: Region 1 (R1)-Full FootyFirst program + fully supported delivery in both 2012 and 2013; R2-Full FootyFirst program + unsupported delivery (both 2012 and 2013); R3-No FootyFirst + no delivery in 2012 (control), full FootyFirst program + full delivery in 2013. For each region, the numbers of hospital-treated (admissions and emergency department presentations) sports injury cases at the hospitals serving those regions were obtained from routine data collections. The in-football season monthly number of lower limb injuries (#LLI) during 2006–2013 was modelled by an intervention time series. The sports injury data was “interrupted” at the beginning of 2012, to coincide with the starting of the FootyFirst delivery, and a second inter accounted for an administrative data change. The model was used to assess changes in slope of the trend lines pre- and post-intervention using a generalised least squares method.

Results There was a significant decline in #LLI after the first delivery of FootyFirst only for R1 (pre-FootyFirst monthly increase of 0.15 cases; post-FootyFirst monthly decline of 2.62 cases; effect p = 0.005).The administrative data change led to an increase in the number of cases in all regions.

Conclusions After adjusting for seasonal effects, there was a significant reduction in #LLI treated in hospitals in the region where FootyFirst was accompanied by full implementation support.

  • Sports injury prevention
  • Lower limb injury
  • Time-series
  • Seasonality

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.