Physiotherapy - Research Publications

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    Self-reported worst injuries in women's Australian football identify lower limb injuries as a prevention priority.
    Fortington, LV ; Donaldson, A ; Finch, CF (BMJ, 2016)
    BACKGROUND: Increasing participation by women in Australian football (AF) has made understanding their specific injury prevention needs a priority. In other sports, men and women have different injury profiles. This study aims to provide the first overview of self-reported injuries in women's AF. METHODS: Nationwide survey of women aged 17+ years who played in an AF competition was conducted following the 2014 playing season. The players' self-reported worst injury from the 2014 season is presented according to injury type, body part injured, treatment sought and games/training missed. RESULTS: Three-quarters of 553 respondents (n=431, 78%) reported at least 1 injury. Over half (n=235, 55%) of injuries were to the lower limb. Ankle ligament tears/sprains (n=50, 12% of all injuries) and knee ligament tears/sprains (n=45, 10%) were most frequent lower limb injuries reported. Two-thirds (65%) of all lower limb injuries led to at least 1 missed game. Of 111 (26% of all injuries) upper limb injuries reported, over half (n=57, 62%) were to the hand/fingers/thumb, including fractures (n=28, 6% of all injuries), ligament tears/sprains (n=18, 4%) and dislocations (n=11, 3%). Half of the upper limb injuries (51%) resulted in players missing matches/training. CONCLUSIONS: The most frequent self-reported worst injuries for women playing AF were joint damage to the ankle and knee. A prospective injury study is needed to confirm the causes and rate of these lower limb injuries to identify the most suitable prevention interventions.
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    Priorities for injury prevention in women's Australian football: a compilation of national data from different sources.
    Fortington, LV ; Finch, CF (BMJ, 2016)
    BACKGROUND/AIM: Participation in Australian football (AF) has traditionally been male dominated and current understanding of injury and priorities for prevention are based solely on reports of injuries in male players. There is evidence in other sports that indicates that injury types differ between males and females. With increasing participation in AF by females, it is important to consider their specific injury and prevention needs. This study aimed to provide a first injury profile from existing sources for female AF. METHODS: Compilation of injury data from four prospectively recorded data sets relating to female AF: (1) hospital admissions in Victoria, 2008/09-13/14, n=500 injuries; (2) emergency department (ED) presentations in Victoria, 2008/09-2012/13, n=1,879 injuries; (3) insurance claims across Australia 2004-2013, n=522 injuries; (4) West Australian Women's Football League (WAWFL), 2014 season club data, n=49 injuries. Descriptive results are presented as injury frequencies, injury types and injury to body parts. RESULTS: Hospital admissions and ED presentations were dominated by upper limb injuries, representing 47% and 51% of all injuries, respectively, primarily to the wrist/hand at 32% and 40%. Most (65%) insurance claim injuries involved the lower limb, 27% of which were for knee ligament damage. A high proportion of concussions (33%) were reported in the club-collected data. CONCLUSIONS: The results provide the first compilation of existing data sets of women's AF injuries and highlight the need for a rigorous and systematic injury surveillance system to be instituted.
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    Injury prevention exercise programmes in professional youth soccer: understanding the perceptions of programme deliverers.
    O'Brien, J ; Finch, CF (BMJ, 2016)
    BACKGROUND: There are well-known challenges to implementing injury prevention strategies in amateur soccer, but information from other soccer settings is scarce. This cross-sectional survey analysed the injury prevention perceptions of soccer coaches, fitness coaches and physiotherapists from 4 male teams in a professional youth soccer academy. METHODS: The respondents (n=18) completed a web-based survey relating to lower limb (LL) soccer injuries, the value and practicality of injury prevention exercise programmes (IPEPs) in general and, more specifically, the IPEP endorsed by FIFA, the FIFA 11+. RESULTS: There were very high levels of agreement regarding players' susceptibility to LL injury and the seriousness of these injuries. Respondents agreed unanimously that players should perform evidence-based injury prevention exercises. Despite 61% of respondents having previously heard of the FIFA 11+, just 6% reported current use of the full programme, with a further 22% reporting modified use. 22% believed the FIFA 11+ contained adequate variation and progression for their team and 78% felt it needed improvement. Respondents identified multiple barriers and facilitators to maintaining IPEPs, relating either to the programme content (eg, exercise variation), or the delivery and support of the programme (eg, coach acceptance). CONCLUSIONS: The coaches, fitness coaches and physiotherapists of professional youth teams support the use of IPEPs, but enhancing their impact requires tailoring of programme content, along with adequate delivery and support at multiple levels. The findings suggest that the FIFA 11+ needs modification for use in professional youth soccer teams.
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    A framework for the etiology of running-related injuries.
    Bertelsen, ML ; Hulme, A ; Petersen, J ; Brund, RK ; Sørensen, H ; Finch, CF ; Parner, ET ; Nielsen, RO (Wiley, 2017-11)
    The etiology of running-related injury is important to consider as the effectiveness of a given running-related injury prevention intervention is dependent on whether etiologic factors are readily modifiable and consistent with a biologically plausible causal mechanism. Therefore, the purpose of the present article was to present an evidence-informed conceptual framework outlining the multifactorial nature of running-related injury etiology. In the framework, four mutually exclusive parts are presented: (a) Structure-specific capacity when entering a running session; (b) structure-specific cumulative load per running session; (c) reduction in the structure-specific capacity during a running session; and (d) exceeding the structure-specific capacity. The framework can then be used to inform the design of future running-related injury prevention studies, including the formation of research questions and hypotheses, as well as the monitoring of participation-related and non-participation-related exposures. In addition, future research applications should focus on addressing how changes in one or more exposures influence the risk of running-related injury. This necessitates the investigation of how different factors affect the structure-specific load and/or the load capacity, and the dose-response relationship between running participation and injury risk. Ultimately, this direction allows researchers to move beyond traditional risk factor identification to produce research findings that are not only reliably reported in terms of the observed cause-effect association, but also translatable in practice.
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    Ground condition as a risk factor in sports injury aetiology studies: the level of concordance between objective and subjective measures.
    Twomey, DM ; Petrass, LA ; Orchard, JW ; Finch, CF (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2014-12)
    BACKGROUND: It is well known that the condition and type of sporting ground influences the risk of sports injury. However, the lack of evidence on the relationship between subjective and objective sporting ground condition assessments in sports injury aetiology studies has implications for the development of effective injury prevention strategies. This paper aims to examine concordance between subjectively rated and objective ground hardness and moisture measurements to inform data collection methods for future sports injury aetiology studies. METHODS: Subjective, observational assessments of ground hardness and soil moisture were recorded on 36 occasions during an Australian football season using two four-point scales of 'very soft' to 'very hard' and 'very wet' to 'very dry', respectively. Independent, objectively measured hardness and soil moisture were also undertaken at nine locations on the same grounds. The maximum and minimum ground values and the computed average of ground hardness and soil moisture were analysed. Somer's d statistic was calculated to measure the level of concordance between the subjective and objective measures. RESULTS: A significant, moderate to substantial level of agreement was found between the subjective ratings and the average objective hardness values (d = 0.467, p <0.001), but there was perfect agreement on just less than half of the occasions. The level of concordance between the subjective and objective moisture ratings was low to moderate or trivial for all moisture measures (0.002 < d <0.264, p >0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Compared to objective measures, the subjective assessments were more accurate for ground hardness than for soil moisture levels and raters were just as likely to underestimate or overestimate the condition under review. This has implications for future sports injury aetiology studies that include ground condition assessments and particularly the use of subjective measures to underpin the development of future injury prevention strategies.
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    Implementing injury surveillance systems alongside injury prevention programs: evaluation of an online surveillance system in a community setting.
    Ekegren, CL ; Donaldson, A ; Gabbe, BJ ; Finch, CF (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2014)
    BACKGROUND: Previous research aimed at improving injury surveillance standards has focused mainly on issues of data quality rather than upon the implementation of surveillance systems. There are numerous settings where injury surveillance is not mandatory and having a better understanding of the barriers to conducting injury surveillance would lead to improved implementation strategies. One such setting is community sport, where a lack of available epidemiological data has impaired efforts to reduce injury. This study aimed to i) evaluate use of an injury surveillance system following delivery of an implementation strategy; and ii) investigate factors influencing the implementation of the system in community sports clubs. METHODS: A total of 78 clubs were targeted for implementation of an online injury surveillance system (approximately 4000 athletes) in five community Australian football leagues concurrently enrolled in a pragmatic trial of an injury prevention program called FootyFirst. System implementation was evaluated quantitatively, using the RE-AIM framework, and qualitatively, via semi-structured interviews with targeted-users. RESULTS: Across the 78 clubs, there was 69% reach, 44% adoption, 23% implementation and 9% maintenance. Reach and adoption were highest in those leagues receiving concurrent support for the delivery of FootyFirst. Targeted-users identified several barriers and facilitators to implementation including personal (e.g. belief in the importance of injury surveillance), socio-contextual (e.g. understaffing and athlete underreporting) and systems factors (e.g. the time taken to upload injury data into the online system). CONCLUSIONS: The injury surveillance system was implemented and maintained by a small proportion of clubs. Outcomes were best in those leagues receiving concurrent support for the delivery of FootyFirst, suggesting that engagement with personnel at all levels can enhance uptake of surveillance systems. Interview findings suggest that increased uptake could also be achieved by educating club personnel on the importance of recording injuries, developing clearer injury surveillance guidelines, increasing club staffing and better remunerating those who conduct surveillance, as well as offering flexible surveillance systems in a range of accessible formats. By increasing the usage of surveillance systems, data will better represent the target population and increase our understanding of the injury problem, and how to prevent it, in specific settings.
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    An overview of geospatial methods used in unintentional injury epidemiology.
    Singh, H ; Fortington, LV ; Thompson, H ; Finch, CF (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2016-12)
    BACKGROUND: Injuries are a leading cause of death and disability around the world. Injury incidence is often associated with socio-economic and physical environmental factors. The application of geospatial methods has been recognised as important to gain greater understanding of the complex nature of injury and the associated diverse range of geographically-diverse risk factors. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to provide an overview of geospatial methods applied in unintentional injury epidemiological studies. METHODS: Nine electronic databases were searched for papers published in 2000-2015, inclusive. Included were papers reporting unintentional injuries using geospatial methods for one or more categories of spatial epidemiological methods (mapping; clustering/cluster detection; and ecological analysis). Results describe the included injury cause categories, types of data and details relating to the applied geospatial methods. RESULTS: From over 6,000 articles, 67 studies met all inclusion criteria. The major categories of injury data reported with geospatial methods were road traffic (n = 36), falls (n = 11), burns (n = 9), drowning (n = 4), and others (n = 7). Grouped by categories, mapping was the most frequently used method, with 62 (93%) studies applying this approach independently or in conjunction with other geospatial methods. Clustering/cluster detection methods were less common, applied in 27 (40%) studies. Three studies (4%) applied spatial regression methods (one study using a conditional autoregressive model and two studies using geographically weighted regression) to examine the relationship between injury incidence (drowning, road deaths) with aggregated data in relation to explanatory factors (socio-economic and environmental). CONCLUSION: The number of studies using geospatial methods to investigate unintentional injuries has increased over recent years. While the majority of studies have focused on road traffic injuries, other injury cause categories, particularly falls and burns, have also demonstrated the application of these methods. Geospatial investigations of injury have largely been limited to mapping of data to visualise spatial structures. Use of more sophisticated approaches will help to understand a broader range of spatial risk factors, which remain under-explored when using traditional epidemiological approaches.
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    Injuries in Australian Rules Football: An Overview of Injury Rates, Patterns, and Mechanisms Across All Levels of Play.
    Saw, R ; Finch, CF ; Samra, D ; Baquie, P ; Cardoso, T ; Hope, D ; Orchard, JW (SAGE Publications, 2018-05)
    CONTEXT: The nature of Australian rules football (Australian football) predisposes both unique and common injuries compared with those sustained in other football codes. The game involves a combination of tackling, kicking, high-speed running (more than other football codes), and jumping. Two decades of injury surveillance has identified common injuries at the professional level (Australian Football League [AFL]). OBJECTIVE: To provide an overview of injuries in Australian rules football, including injury rates, patterns, and mechanisms across all levels of play. STUDY DESIGN: A narrative review of AFL injuries, football injury epidemiology, and biomechanical and physiological attributes of relevant injuries. RESULTS: The overall injury incidence in the 2015 season was 41.7 injuries per club per season, with a prevalence of 156.2 missed games per club per season. Lower limb injuries are most prevalent, with hamstring strains accounting for 19.1 missed games per club per season. Hamstring strains relate to the volume of high-speed running required in addition to at times having to collect the ball while running in a position of hip flexion and knee extension. Anterior cruciate ligament injuries are also prevalent and can result from contact and noncontact incidents. In the upper limb, shoulder sprains and dislocations account for 11.5 missed games per club per season and largely resulted from tackling and contact. Concussion is less common in AFL than other tackling sports but remains an important injury, which has notably become more prevalent in recent years, theorized to be due to a more conservative approach to management. Although there are less injury surveillance data for non-AFL players (women, community-level, children), many of these injuries appear to also be common across all levels of play. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: An understanding of injury profiles and mechanisms in Australian football is crucial in identifying methods to reduce injury risk and prepare players for the demands of the game.
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    Identifying clusters of falls-related hospital admissions to inform population targets for prioritising falls prevention programmes.
    Finch, CF ; Stephan, K ; Shee, AW ; Hill, K ; Haines, TP ; Clemson, L ; Day, L (BMJ, 2015-08)
    BACKGROUND: There has been limited research investigating the relationship between injurious falls and hospital resource use. The aims of this study were to identify clusters of community-dwelling older people in the general population who are at increased risk of being admitted to hospital following a fall and how those clusters differed in their use of hospital resources. METHODS: Analysis of routinely collected hospital admissions data relating to 45 374 fall-related admissions in Victorian community-dwelling older adults aged ≥65 years that occurred during 2008/2009 to 2010/2011. Fall-related admission episodes were identified based on being admitted from a private residence to hospital with a principal diagnosis of injury (International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-10-AM codes S00 to T75) and having a first external cause of a fall (ICD-10-AM codes W00 to W19). A cluster analysis was performed to identify homogeneous groups using demographic details of patients and information on the presence of comorbidities. Hospital length of stay (LOS) was compared across clusters using competing risks regression. RESULTS: Clusters based on area of residence, demographic factors (age, gender, marital status, country of birth) and the presence of comorbidities were identified. Clusters representing hospitalised fallers with comorbidities were associated with longer LOS compared with other cluster groups. Clusters delineated by demographic factors were also associated with increased LOS. CONCLUSIONS: All patients with comorbidity, and older women without comorbidities, stay in hospital longer following a fall and hence consume a disproportionate share of hospital resources. These findings have important implications for the targeting of falls prevention interventions for community-dwelling older people.