Creating prep to play PRO for women playing elite australian football: a how-to guide for developing injury-prevention programs

Review written by Dr Travis Pollen info

Key Points

  1. The Australian Football League for Women needed an injury prevention program to address their anterior cruciate ligament injury problem, but no sex- or context-specific program existed.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

In 2017 the Australian Football League for Women (AFLW) identified an urgent need to reduce the incidence of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries in their league. Although a number of injury prevention programs (IPPs) existed that the AFLW could have adopted, those IPPs had a couple of important limitations:

  1. The way they were developed typically was not well-described. As such, the rigorousness of those processes is unknown.
  2. They were not specific to the context of the AFLW (e.g. sport, sex, age, level of play and sport experience).

Without a rigorous, context-driven development process involving all key stakeholders, the AFLW believed the IPP would not be widely adopted, implemented, and maintained. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to describe the collaborative, context-driven process used to develop an IPP for the AFLW called Prep to Play PRO.

The Australian Football League for Women identified an urgent need to reduce the incidence of anterior cruciate ligament injuries in their league.
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Injury prevention programs should allow practitioners autonomy and flexibility to choose drills based on expertise, with an ability to be embedded within an existing training session.

METHODS

To address the ACL injury problem in the AFLW, a large multidisciplinary collaboration was formed, consisting of researchers, physiotherapists, league administrators and a current AFLW player. Over the span of 2.5 years, the research team developed Prep to Play PRO

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