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Minerva Ortopedica e Traumatologica 2017 June;68(2):110-23

DOI: 10.23736/S0394-3410.17.03815-2


language: English

Injury surveillance in the professional football codes: an overview of current data collection, injury definition and reporting practices

Louise SHAW 1, John ORCHARD 2, Richard SAW 3, Caroline F. FINCH 1

1 Australian Collaboration for Research into Injury in Sport and its Prevention, Federation University Australia, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia; 2 School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia; 3 Olympic Park Sports Medicine Centre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


INTRODUCTION: Whilst football has been found to have many positive effects from a health perspective, injuries are common, particularly at the elite or professional level of play. Injury surveillance is therefore required to inform the development and implementation of strategies to increase safety in professional football codes.
EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: A systematic search of peer reviewed and available grey literature was conducted to identify publications presenting methodological details of ongoing injury surveillance systems in professional football codes. Data extracted included population under surveillance, player/team coverage, injury definition and other relevant information.
EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: Following literature search and review, seven injury surveillance systems were identified that record ongoing data within professional football codes. A range of methodologies was used across the surveillance systems with variations in the definitions of injury, who records the data, the data-recording tool and dissemination of the data.
CONCLUSIONS: There are many benefits for football associations, clubs and players themselves in conducting comprehensive injury surveillance. A range of surveillance methods is employed across the different football codes including injury definitions. Some professional football codes have developed consensus statements, which provide guidance on key issues relating to injury surveillance. Dissemination of findings differed with some systems publishing via peer review journals, with others through annual disclosure to the media. Financial considerations and funding are a crucial factor for creating and maintaining an injury surveillance system. Findings from professional football injury surveillance have been used to implement rule changes and develop preventive programmes, all aimed at increasing player safety.

KEY WORDS: Football - Wounds and injuries - Safety

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