THE EFFECTS OF SERIAL SPORTS TRAINING RISK ASSESSMENT AND COUNSELLING IN KIDS (T.R.A.C.K.)

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Abstract

Background

Training recommendations in young athletes have been published by various authors and organizations to help reduce future injury risk. No previous study has evaluated a randomized intervention of counselling using evidence-based recommendations in a population of young athletes.

Objective

To determine if serial interactive on-line evidence-based counselling reduce the future rate of injury in young athletes.

Design

Multi-Center Double-blind Prospective Randomized Interventional Trial.

Setting

Academic institutions treating young athletes in sports medicine or primary care clinics.

Patients (or Participants)

Young athletes 8–17 years old presenting with or without a prior injury to either of these institutions.

Interventions (or Assessment of Risk Factors)

After completing the baseline risk assessment tool, young athletes were randomized to: (1) a control group who are monitored every 3 months for exposures for one year and (2) an intervention group of athletes who are similarly monitored and also receive a counselling checklist intervention every 3 months for one year. Training characteristics such as training volume, degree of specialization, and adherence to recommendations were evaluated in each group.

Main Outcome Measurements

Injury rates were compared at baseline and after the intervention in control and intervention. Compliance to recommendations and barriers to compliance were also assessed.

Results

362 subjects were enrolled with 350 subjects adequate for analysis (170 control, 180 intervention). Baseline demographics and injury rates (71% vs. 75%, p<0.1) were similar between groups. At baseline, injured athletes were older, had higher hrs/week of organized sports, less free play, and were more likely to do year round sports specialization then uninjured athletes. At 6 months of follow up, athletes in the counselling group had lower rates of injury then those in the control group (48.0% vs. 27.7%, p=0.003).

Conclusions

Serial on-line based evidence-based counselling on training in young athletes may help to reduce future injury risk.

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