Physiotherapy - Research Publications

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    Injury surveillance in community cricket: A new inning for South Africa.
    Olivier, B ; Obiora, OL ; MacMillan, C ; Finch, C (AOSIS, 2022)
    Published injury rates amongst elite and club-level youth cricketers highlight the need to implement injury risk-reducing strategies amongst the youth cricketing population. Data from sports injury surveillance systems are a prerequisite for the development and evaluation of strategies to reduce injury risk. Therefore, collecting injury surveillance data is a positive move towards reducing injuries in cricket. In South Africa, a systematic, standardised, evidence-informed injury surveillance system currently does not exist for community levels of play, namely, in cricket-playing high schools and cricket clubs. Although injury surveillance systems exist at elite levels, the obvious differences in elite versus community cricket settings mean that these systems cannot be implemented in their current form at community-level cricket. An innovative model is required to implement an injury surveillance system in community cricket. Clinical implications: This article proposes and describes a new research-practice partnership model to implement a systematic, standardised, evidence-informed injury surveillance system at cricket-playing high schools or cricket clubs within South Africa. Once this model has been employed, database systems will need to be established to allow long-term data management and sharing.
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    Improving musculoskeletal injury surveillance methods in Special Operation Forces: A Delphi consensus study
    Stannard, J ; Finch, CF ; Fortington, LV ; Bachynski, K (Public Library of Science (PLoS), 2022-01-20)
    Musculoskeletal injury mitigation is a priority in military organisations to protect personnel health and sustain a capable workforce. Despite efforts to prevent injury, inconsistencies exist in the evidence used to support these activities. There are many known limitations in the injury surveillance data reported in previous Special Operation Forces (SOF) research. Such studies often lack accurate, reliable, and complete data to inform and evaluate injury prevention activities. This research aimed to achieve expert consensus on injury surveillance methods in SOF to enhance the quality of data that could be used to inform injury prevention in this population. A Delphi study was conducted with various military injury surveillance stakeholders to seek agreement on improving surveillance methods in SOF. Iterative questionnaires using close and open-ended questions were used to collect views about surveillance methods related to injury case definitions and identifying essential and optional data requirements. Consensus was predefined as 75% group agreement on an item. Sixteen participants completed two rounds of questionnaires required. Consensus was achieved for 17.9% (n = 7) of questions in the first-round and 77.5% (n = 38) of round two questions. Several challenges for surveillance were identified, including recording injury causation, SOF personnel’s injury reporting behaviours influencing accurate data collection, and surveillance system infrastructure limitations. Key military injury surveillance stakeholders support the need for improved data collection to enhance the evidence that underpins injury prevention efforts. The consensus process has resulted in preliminary recommendations to support future SOF injury surveillance.
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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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    Injury deaths in Australian sport and recreation: Identifying and assessing priorities for prevention
    Fortington, L ; McIntosh, AS ; Finch, CF ; Geßlein, M (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2021-04-22)
    INTRODUCTION: Sport and recreation is beneficial for health and wellbeing but comes with a probability of loss, including occasional fatal injuries. Following high-profile injury deaths in Australia, concerns are raised regarding the safety of sport participation. To understand the scale and scope of injury deaths, and identify potential prevention opportunities, the aim of this investigation was to describe the number and nature of fatal injuries in Australian sport and recreation. METHODS: This is a retrospective cohort study of injury deaths reported between 1 July 2000 to 31 December 2019 using data from the National Coronial Information System, Australia. Unintentional deaths with an external cause, where the activity was recorded as sport and exercise during leisure time were included. Drowning deaths were excluded. Presented are the number and % of cases by age, sex, sport, broad cause and annual crude death rate (population). RESULTS: There were 1192 deaths, averaging 63 per year. Deaths were mostly in males (84.4%), with the largest proportion in people aged 15-24 years (23.1%). Wheeled motor (26.9%) and non-motor (16.2%) sports accounted for the highest proportion of cases. The primary mechanism of death was most commonly blunt force (85.4%), followed by piercing/penetrating force (5.0%). The years 2001 and 2005 recorded the highest crude injury death rate (2001, n = 92, 0.47 per 100,000 population; 2005, n = 95, 0.47 per 100,000 population). CONCLUSIONS: On average, there is more than one injury death per week in a sport or recreation setting in Australia. Cases occurred in many sports and recreation activities, including those generally considered to be safe (e.g. individual athletic activities, team ball sports.) Detailed investigation of the coronial recommendations that are present within each case is now needed to understand and identify potential prevention opportunities.
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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.