Background Previous research demonstrates an injury risk of traumatic and overuse injuries in floor-ball which is one of the major sports in Sweden with 1 24 000 licensed players. One important step to prevent overuse injuries to occur is to understand its psychosocial nature.
Objective The aim of this study is to describe and structure athletes' experience of psychosocial risk factors preceding overuse injury.
Design Elite floor-ball players were interviewed by the first author and based on a semi-structured interview guide. To uncover the underlying meaning in the transcribed interviews, a thematic content analysis was used.
Setting Team doctors and physiotherapists in the highest floor-ball leagues (women and men), were contacted and asked to make contact with overuse injured players for interviews regarding their injury. Interviews were recorded at the interviewer's office or the floor-ball arena. The interviews were transcribed verbatim. Participants were informed about the purpose and the method of the study. That participation was voluntary, that their responses would be treated confidentially and that their identities would not be revealed in the reporting of the findings.
Participants Nine male and one female elite floor-ball players diagnosed with a present overuse injury were recruited for voluntary participation.
Main outcome measurements Psychosocial factors experienced by elite floor-ball players preceding overuse injuries.
Assessment of risk factors Assessment is conducted through qualitative analysis.
Results Three main themes evolved in the analysis; a) several players experienced pain while competing. However, it is difficult to separate normal/daily pain to warnings signals of an injury, b) many players experienced a culture in the team including not talking about their first symptoms, and, c) time for mental and physical recovery was not given during the season.
Conclusion Players experienced a culture where it is not acceptable to talk about non traumatic pain. Periods of rest were limited leading to a need for mental recovery.