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Sports injury

Our sports injury project focus on

  • understanding the nature of injury risk in popular sports participated in at the community level or
  • developing effective injury prevention measures.

1. Risk factors for repetitive microtrauma injury to deolescent and adult cricket fast bowlers

Centre Investigators
Rebecca Dennis, Caroline Finch

Collaborators
Bruce Elliott (School of Human Movement and Exercise Science, UWA), Andrew McIntosh (School of Safety Science, UNSW)

Summary
Cricket is one of Austarlia's most popular sports, both in terms of spetator interst and participation rates. However, participation in cricket can be associated with a risk of injury. Fast bolwers hae consistently been identified as being at the greatest risk of injury, which clearly establishes them as the priority group for continued risk factor research. The aim of this project was to describe the epidemiology of repetitive microtrauma injuries and identify the risk factors for these injuries to male adolescent and adult fast bowlers. The project consisted of three prospective cohort studies investigating bowling workload, technique and physical characteristics as risk factors for injury, with data being collected over the period 2000-04. Results of the project were presented to cricket administrators, policy makers, coaches and medical staff in a variety of forums throughout the year.


2. Substance use and snow sport activity: An investigation of risk perceptions, attitudes and knowledge

Centre Investigators
Caroline Finch, Shauna Sherker

Collaborators
Jim Kehoe (School of Psychology, UNSW), Mark Doverty (NSW Southern Area Health Services)

Summary
The aim of this project was to investigate perception of snowfield resort visitors about injury risk regarding alcohol, fatigue and recreational drug use.
Visitors of a resort village in a large Australian snowfield region completed a brief survey about fatigue, alcohol and recreational drug use and injury risk perception. Participants stated their ability to ski or snowboard and drive safely following a lack of sleep, alcohol and recreational drugh use. Intoxicated snowfield report visitors were compared ith non-intoxicated visitors. Safety beliefs across snowsport and transport were compared.
Most participants reported that they generally slept less than usual and 30% reported both drinking alcohol and using drugs more than usual while visiting the snowfields. Participants perceived driving as a greater injury risk than skiing/snowboarding (p<0.001). Fatigue was perceived as a relatively weak injury risk factor, particularly while skiing and snowboarding.


3. Managing return-to-play decisions following mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI)

Centre Investigator
Caroline Finch

Collaborators
Mark Stevenson (The George Institute for International Health, University of Sydney), Michael Collins and Mark Lovell (University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre), Andy Lee (School of Population Health, UWA), Andrew McIntosh (School of Safety Science, UNSW). This project is led by the George Institute for International Health.

Summary
Contact sports, such as the football codes, carry a high risk of mild traumatic head injury (mTBI) and such injuries have the potential for adverse long-term sequelae. Despite the potential to significantly reduce the adverse outcome of mTBI there are conflicting guidelines about when a player should return to play. The aims of this project are to estimat the incidence of rugby-related role of protective factors (such as head gear and mouthguards), and develop guidelines for managing return-to-play decision following mTBI. During the 2005 season, the study recruited 1276 males aged 16 and over who played high school or community level (non-elite) rugby within the Sydney metropolitan area. Demographic information, potential risk factors and recent concussion history were collected on all players at baseline. Selected school and club players undertook baseline neuropsychological testing and post-injury cognitive functioning was also assessed at four time intervals.

 

4. Junior Australian Football Safety Study (JAFSS)

Centre Investigators
Caroline Finch, Maria Romiti

Collaborator
Belinda Gabbe (Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University)

Summary
Continued growth of junior sports depends heavily upon the level of safety associated with participation in any given activity. The Junior Australian Football Safety Study (JAFSS) was designed to investigate the rates and patterns of injury among Australian football participants spanning from the U9 level of play through to the U18 level of play. Additionally, comparisons were made to the only other comprehensive study of injuries in junior Australian football players, conducted over a decade ago. The project has identified priority areas for injury prevention and recommended specific game development strategies, related to level of play.



5. Review and evaluation of Victorian sports risk management strategies, policies and programs

Centre Investigator
Caroline Finch

Collaborators
Leonie Otago, Peter Swan, Jennifer Blitvich and Sue Browsn(School of Human Movement and Sports Science, University of Ballarat). This project is led by the University of Ballarat researchers.

Summary
This project has examined the extent to which Victorian State Sporting Bodies have developed and implemented risk management plans. The aims were to investigate how, and to what extent, sport clubs and associations adopted their State Sporting Association (SSA) SIRM plan into their everyday operations. To adequately explore this, the project was conducted in five phases: a review of SSA SIRM policies for clubs, an interview with a key SSA person; the development and implementation of a survey for clubs and associations, and development and implementation of a survey for clubs and associations. Overall, the findings of five phases support the need for a practical SIRM process at club level. Generic risk management protocols have their place but clubs need to know what is expected of them, and how they should implement SIRM and what the benefits of undertaking the practices are.

 

6. Evaluation of the SafeClub training intervention to improve community sports safety

Centre Investigator
Shauna Sherker

Collaborators
Paul Klarenaar (Northern Sydney Central Coast Health), Kristy Abbott (YouthSafe), Alex Donaldson (Port Phillip Community Health). This project is being coordinated by YouthSafe.

Summary
Risk management plans have been identified as the 'best buy' in sports injury prevention however local research indicates that few community sports clubs have such plans, nor the skills and infrastructure to develop them. The SafeClub training program was introduced to assist community sports clubs to develop and implement sports safety plans using a risk management approach and injury prevention concepts. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of the SafeClub training program as a means of enabling community soccer clubs to improve their sports safety infrastructure, policies and practices. Baseline and post-intervention safety infrastructure and policies were measured using a modified version of the Sports Safety Audit Tool. Preliminary results indicate that there was no significant difference at baseline between intervention and control soccer clubs regarding risk management policy and infrastructure. Post season results will be analysed in 2006. The findings of this innovative project will provide much needed evidence to guide the process of supporting community supporting organisations to adopt best practice in sports injury prevention.

 

7. Barriers and facilitators to compliance with playground safety standards

Centre Investigator
Shauna Sherker, Rebecca Dennis

Collaborators
Jan Ritchie (School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW), David Eager (Dept of Engineering, UTS)

Summary
Playground related injury is a serious and common childhood event, resulting in substantial trauma and treatment costs. Playground injury hospitalisation rates have increased, despite stringent playground safety standards being introduced. This trend appears to be driven in part by a lack of compliance with playground safety standards. This study aims to identify how local government enforce regulations for playground safety. Further, will identify the barriers and facilitators to playground safety standard compliance in local government, and to highlight examples of best practice. A telephone survey of key informants for playground safety in all 152 local government councils in New South Wales Australia was undertaken in 2005. The extent of playground safety compliance by metropolitan and non-metropolitan councils, council enforcement of regulations including inspection and maintenance processes and barriers and facilitators to compliance will be reported.

 

8. Epidemiological profile of severe and catastrophic sports injuries in NSW

Centre Investigator
Caroline Finch, Soufiane Boufous

Summary
The aim of this project is to examine secular trends in severe and catastrophic sports injuries in New South Wales and to determine the nature and the circumstances of these cases. Results will be presented in the form of three annual reports. The objective of the first report is to present a baseline epidemiological profile of hospitalisations and deaths related to participation in sport and leisure activities in NSW. Data on sports-related injuries was extracted from the NSW Inpatient Statistical Collection and the ABS death data based on the International Classification Diseases (ICD-10) activity coding indicating injury while engaging in sports and leisure activities. Rates of catastrophic sports injuries will be provided based on ABS population data as well as participation data obtained from the Participation in Exercise, Recreation and Sport Surveys run by the Australian Sports Commission and staet and territory departments of sports and recreation.

 

9. Sports ground and surface study and development of user safety guidelines

Centre Investigator
Caroline Finch

Collaborators
Leonie Otago, Peter Swan and Warren Payne (School of Human Movement and Sports Science, University of Ballarat), Ian Chivers Harvey (Racing Solutions, Victoria), John Orchard (Sports Medicine Centre, UNSW). This project is led by the University of Ballarat researchers.

Summary
The aim of this project is to investigate the policies of Victorian Local Government Authorities along with the State Sporting Association of Football, Cricket, Hockey and Soccer in relation to sports ground safety and ground suitability for play. The methodology is a six stage process investigating current policies are being adopted, including methods and practices at club and association level across metropolitan, regional and rural settings and to establish normative data for conditions of ground surfaces for Australian Rules Football grounds at a representative number of metropolitan, regional and rural environments.

 

 

 

 

 

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