Consensus Statement on Injury Definitions and Data Collection Procedures in Studies of Football (Soccer) Injuries

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Abstract

Background

Variations in definitions and methodologies have created differences in the results and conclusions obtained from studies of football (soccer) injuries; this has made interstudy comparisons difficult.

Procedure

An Injury Consensus Group was established under the auspices of Fédération Internationale de Football Association Medical Assessment and Research Centre. Using a nominal group consensus model approach, a working document that identified the key issues related to definitions, methodology, and implementation was discussed by members of the group during a 2-day meeting. After this meeting, iterative draft statements were prepared and circulated to the members of the group for comment before the final consensus statement was produced.

Results

Definitions of injury, recurrent injury, severity, and training and match exposures in football, together with criteria for classifying injuries in terms of location, type, diagnosis, and causation are proposed. Proforma for recording players' baseline information, injuries, and training and match exposures are presented. Recommendations are made on how the incidence of match and training injuries should be reported and a checklist of issues and information that should be included in published reports of studies of football injuries is presented.

Conclusions

The definitions and methodology proposed in the consensus statement will ensure that consistent and comparable results will be obtained from studies of football injuries.

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