Background The use of injury prevention programs (IPPs) during organized warm-up activities is encouraged to reduce lower extremity injury risk. However, the prevalence of structured IPP use by high school teams in Oregon is unknown.
Objective 1) Describe the warm-up practices of Oregon high school teams; and 2) evaluate if these behaviors are influenced by team access to a medical professional (Athletic Trainer-AT) at the school.
Design Cross-sectional survey.
Setting High school.
Participants Athletic directors from all 287 Oregon School Activity Association schools were asked to forward survey invitations to their head girls' and boys' basketball, soccer, and volleyball coaches. Coaches reported information about 276 teams.
Interventions Independent variable was team access to an AT.
Main outcome measurements Team use of: 1) any organized warm-up at least three times per week; 2) a scientifically proven IPP; and 3) activities from the five categories common to efficacious IPPs.
Results Student-athletes on 248/276 (89.9%) teams performed an organized warm-up, but only 27/248 (10.9%) teams used a structured IPP; and just 6/248 (2.4%) used a proven IPP as designed. Teams reported using 3.7±1.2 of the five categories common to IPPs (Flexibility=96%, Balance=48%, Strengthening=79%, Plyometrics=62%, Agility=88%). Access to an AT (AT:129 teams, No AT:147 teams) did not influence organized warm-up use (X2=0.189, P=.664), the types of activities performed (X2=0.014–0.842, P=.359-.907), or the distribution of the total number of IPP categories performed (Mann-Whitney U=0.354, P=.723).
Conclusions The use of IPPs in Oregon high schools is extremely rare. However, irrespective of access to an AT, most teams perform an organized warm-up using activities from several categories common to IPPs. Modification of current IPPs and/or the method for IPP delivery to address factors currently limiting program adoption is likely necessary to improve implementation effectiveness.