The Effect of a Comprehensive Injury Audit Program on Injury Incidence in Ballet: A 3-Year Prospective Study

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Abstract

Objective:

The aim of this study was to determine whether an intervention with individualized conditioning program based on injury history and functional movement screening would be effective in reducing ballet injury incidence.

Design:

Prospective 3-year epidemiological study.

Setting:

Professional ballet company and its in-house medical facility.

Participants:

Dancers from a professional ballet company over the 3-year study period. Participant numbers ranged from 52 to 58 (year 1: 52; year 2: 58; year 3: 53).

Interventions:

The intervention consisted of individual conditioning programs developed using injury history and functional movement screening. Analysis was undertaken of the all dancers who were present in the company during the study period. The significance of change in injuries over a 3-year period was determined using a Poisson distribution model.

Main Outcomes Measures:

To determine whether individual conditioning programs resulted in a decrease in injury incidence over the study period.

Results:

The injury count reduced significantly in years 2 and 3 (P < 0.001). Injury incidence for male dancers declined from year 1 (in year/1000 h) (4.76/1000 h) to year 2 (2.40/1000 h) and year 3 (2.22/1000 h). For women, a reduction in the injury incidence was observed from year 1 (4.14/1000 h) to year 2 (1.71/1000 h) and year 3 (1.81/1000 h).

Conclusions:

Through prospective injury surveillance, we were able to demonstrate the benefit of individualized conditioning programs based on injury history and functional movement screening in reducing injuries in ballet.

Clinical Relevance:

The implementation of well-structured injury surveillance programs can impact on injury incidence through its influence on intervention programs.

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