Background The use of text messaging or short message service (SMS) for injury reporting is a recent innovation in sport and has not yet been trialled at the community level. Considering the lack of personnel and resources in community sport, SMS may represent a viable option for ongoing injury surveillance.
Objective To evaluate the feasibility of injury self-reporting via SMS in community Australian football.
Design Cohort study.
Setting Community Australian football clubs.
Participants Of the 316 Australian football players eligible from four community clubs (male and aged 18+ years), 44% (n=139) agreed to participate. Seventeen participants were lost to follow up over the season.
Main outcome measurements Consenting players received an SMS after each football round asking whether they had been injured in the preceding week. Outcome variables included the number of SMS-reported injuries, players' response rates and response time. Poisson regression was used to evaluate any change in response rate over the season and the association between response rate and the number of reported injuries.
Results In the sample of 139 football players, 167 injuries were reported via SMS over the course of the season. The total response rate ranged from 90-98%. Of those participants who replied on the same day, 47% replied within five minutes. The number of reported injuries decreased as the season progressed but this was not significantly associated with a change in the response rate.
Conclusions The number of injuries reported via SMS was consistent with previous studies in community Australian football. Injury reporting via SMS yielded a high response rate and fast response time and should be considered a viable injury reporting method for community sports settings.
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