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A Journal on Internal Medicine and Pharmacology

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Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2016 December;175(12):542-50

language: English

Injury risk factor analysis of elite athletes in training environment: a comparative survey between Germany and Taiwan

Victor C. WANG 1, Frank MAYER 1, Pia M. WIPPERT 2

1 Department of Sport Medicine and Sport Orthopedics, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany; 2 Department of Sociology of Physical Activity and Health, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany


BACKGROUND: Injury can be a devastating setback for elite athletes whereby injury prevention plays a key role in the biography of athletes. This study had three aims: 1) to compare if there are differences between German and Taiwan elite athletes in injury-related factors; 2) to evaluate the influence of these factors to injury frequency; and 3) to identify possible interactions within injury-related factors and the injury risk for both cohorts.
METHODS: A total of 335 elite athletes (269 Taiwanese athletes: 121 F, 148 M, mean age 23.2±6.9; 66 German athletes: 32 F, 34 M, mean age=26.0±7.6) participated. Inclusion criterion: current or retired national team members of Olympic sports. A risk of injury questionnaire (Risk-IQ) for elite athletes was used. Scores were calculated for individual scales/subscales for analysis. Descriptive statistics, independent sample t-tests, Spearman correlation, Mann-Whitney U test and Kruskal-Wallis ANOVA tests were employed. Generalized linear models for multivariate regression of scales/subscales were used. Significance was set for P<0.05.
RESULTS: Hypothesis 1: the results of medical care, environment, training, stress, and injury caused losses factors tested significantly different (all P<0.05) between German and Taiwanese cohorts. Hypothesis 2: regardless of nationality, the injury contributing factors were: age, sport types, experience levels, medical care, cardiovascular problem, training and stress (all P<0.05). Hypothesis 3: The interaction effect existed between sport type_format, injury caused losses and medical care.
CONCLUSIONS: Injury-related influencing factors and interactions can be found via multi-disciplines integrated Risk-IQ regardless of heterogeneous recruitment. The top 5 injury risk factors were: 1) experience level (international competition); 2) number of periodic health examination and pre-participation evaluation received; 3) sport types; 4) stress from life events; 5) age.

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