Using Surveillance for Sports Injury Epidemiology
Sports have numerous positive benefits and serve as an important source of physical activity among United States (US) adolescents. However, sports carry a risk of injury, with high school athletes sustaining almost 1.5 million injuries every year. The first step in decreasing sports injury rates is to collect high-quality exposure and injury data. Such data can describe injury rates and patterns and form a foundation for developing and evaluating preventive interventions. The overall objective of this study was to evaluate important topics in sports injury epidemiology. The specific aims were to examine the feasibility of using various data reporters in national sports injury surveillance, to examine return to play patterns following concussion, and to examine injury patterns by body mass index (BMI). This study utilized data from the National High School Sports-Related Injury Surveillance Study, which conducted surveillance in 100 nationally representative US high schools during the 2005-08 school years. We found that certified athletic trainers are the optimal data reporters in national high school sports injury surveillance because they reported more consistently and accurately than coaches or athletes. We also found that 40% of high school athletes are risking subsequent injury and serious neurologic impairment by returning to play too soon following a sports-related concussion. Finally, injury diagnosis and body site differ by BMI. Underweight athletes are more likely to sustain a bone fracture while obese athletes are more likely to sustain an ankle injury. The sports community must help protect the lifelong physical and mental health of high school athletes by ensuring athletes follow recommended return to play guidelines following concussion and by implementing BMI-targeted interventions. Continued sports injury surveillance is needed to monitor trends and assess the effectiveness of preventive interventions.
School:The Ohio State University
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:sports injury surveillance epidemiology public health high school adolescents concussion
Date of Publication:01/01/2009