In addition, positive attitudes towards injury prevention correlated with high compliance and lower injury risk. These are the good news from a new paper recently published in British Journal of Sports Medicine.
A new report from the Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center scrutinizes the methodology of recording and reporting participant compliance in prevention studies, and provides new insight on the factors underpinning compliance.
The effectiveness of any intervention - here an injury prevention training program - depends, among other aspects, on uptake of the intervention among the participants, that is, compliance.
In a sports team, compliance with such a training program is highly dependent on the motivation, choices and actions of the head coach.
However, documentation of participant compliance is often incomplete in studies examining the effectiveness of injury prevention protocols in team sports. Furthermore, we have limited knowledge about the factors that influence participants’ compliance with an intervention.
Thus, the aim of this investigation, carried out in the 2007 football season, was to assess team and player compliance with The 11+ warm-up program designed to reduce injuries in football. We also wanted to identify attitudes towards injury prevention among coaches and their association with their team’s and players’ compliance and injury risk.
The 65 intervention teams from our RCT testing the effect of The 11+ on injury rates in roughly 2.000 youth female football players formed the basis for the current study.
Both team and individual player compliance with the warm-up program, as well as injuries and exposure in training and matches was recorded prospectively throughout one football season.
All coaches were also interviewed to assess attitudes, motivational factors (facilitators) and perceived barriers with conducting the warm-up program.
Attitudes and compliance strongly linked to the risk of injury
The results of the study demonstrated that compliance with the injury prevention program was high, and that players with high compliance incurred significantly fewer injuries than players with intermediate compliance. Furthermore, the coach interviews revealed that positive attitudes towards injury prevention correlated with high compliance and lower injury risk.
Take home message for researchers
Recording team and player compliance together will provide detailed data on the overall compliance with the intervention, and such methods should be applied in the preparation of future intervention studies.
This project has been carried out by Torbjørn Soligard, Agnethe Nilstad, Kathrin Steffen, Grethe Myklebust, Ingar Holme, Jiri Dvorak, Roald Bahr, Thor Einar Andersen. This study was supported by grants from the FIFA Medical Assessment and Research Centre.
Read the paper in BJSM.