How injury registration and preseason assessment are being delivered: an international survey of sports physical therapists

Review written by Dr Travis Pollen info

Key Points

  1. 414 sports physical therapists from all over the world were surveyed to better understand their roles in injury registration and preseason screening.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

In 1992 van Mechelen et al. proposed a landmark four-step sequence for injury prevention (1). The sequence goes like this:

  1. Determine the magnitude and severity of injuries for your team or sport.
  2. Consult the literature to understand the mechanisms and risk factors for those injuries.
  3. Introduce an injury prevention program (IPP) to modify risk factors and reduce injuries.
  4. Repeat Step #1 to determine the effectiveness of the IPP.

One additional step many practitioners add to the sequence (between Steps 2 and 3) is preseason screening (2). The goals of preseason screening include capturing baseline data, identifying current health problems, and stratifying high-risk athletes (3).

While the utility of risk stratification has been hotly debated (4), both careful injury registration (Step #1) and screening clearly play roles in injury prevention. However, little is known about whether and to what extent sports physical therapists (SPTs) engage in these practices. This study addressed that question through an international survey.

(Note: The full results of this survey were disseminated across two articles. The other article was reviewed in our September 2021 issue.)

The goals of preseason screening include capturing baseline data, identifying current health problems, and stratifying high-risk athletes.
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Injury registration allows SPTs to have a reference for athletes’ previous injuries, which are the strongest risk factor for re-injuries and new injuries.

METHODS

414 members of the International Federation of Sports Physical Therapy (96 females, 318 males; 38 ± 9 years old; 8 ± 3 years of experience) participated in the survey. The top three countries represented were Japan (15%), Brazil (15%), and

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