Background Evidence-based injury preventive exercise programs (IPEPs) usually have limited public health impact because they are not widely implemented into regular training routines.
Objective To identify facilitators that could help make IPEPs part of regular training routines in youth team handball.
Design Ecological participatory approach incorporating the perspective of multiple stakeholders. This is the first phase in a series of studies within the “Implementing injury Prevention exercise ROutines in TEams and Clubs in youth Team handball (I-PROTECT)” project.
Setting Two community team handball clubs in Sweden offering organized training for youth players.
Participants Stakeholders from multiple levels of youth handball.
Methods Concept Mapping (CM), a mixed-method approach for qualitative data collection and quantitative data analysis, was used. CM involves steps from generating statements from stakeholders to conceptualizing a framework for developing an implementation plan.
Results 179 stakeholders (32% players, 14% coaches, 42% caregivers, and 12% club, district and national handball administrators) participated in a brainstorming in response to the question “In order to make injury prevention training a part of our regular handball training routines I need….”. This generated 89 unique ‘facilitator’ statements which are currently being sorted into clusters and rated for ‘importance’ and ‘feasibility’ by 35 stakeholders. To date, data collection is completed for 11 of 35 stakeholders, yielding 5 clusters (stress value 0.255): “Understanding and motivation”, “Education, knowledge and consistency”, “Exercises and set-up”, “Routines and quality assurance”, and “Club policy and expert collaboration”. Statements rated as both highly important and feasible indicate that developing an IPEP and an associated implementation plan in partnership with all stakeholders should be a high priority.
Conclusions The preliminary results suggest that developing an evidence-based context-specific IPEP and an associated context-specific implementation plan in partnership with all stakeholders should be a high priority to ensure successful IPEP implementation in youth team handball.
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