Background Epidemiological studies with injury surveillance during major athletics championships are of interest to improve the knowledge on injury incidence and prevalence in this context. However, the quality of the injury surveillance system has an influence on the quality of the data.
Objective To analyse the quality of and compliance with the injury surveillance system used during major athletics championships.
Design Prospective study.
Setting 14 international athletics championships from 2007 to 2015; Elite athletics level.
Participants A total of 1560 countries, 15463 registered athletes and the 14 local organizing committee medical organizations (LOC).
Main Outcome Measurements The quality of the injury surveillance system was analysed following the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines including the following parameters: simplicity, flexibility, data quality (completeness and validity of data), acceptability, sensitivity, positive predictive value, representativeness, stability and availability, timeliness, and security and confidentiality. In addition, medical team participation, coverage of athletes by medical teams, response rate of daily report forms and completeness of injury data were analysed.
Results On average 41.7±17.4% (mean±standard deviation) of all registered countries participated in the injury surveillance project, accounting for a coverage of athletes of 79.5±10.2% of all registered athletes. Their medical staff returned 89.2±8.4% of the expected injury report forms (information is missing for one championship). The completeness of injury data provided by medical teams and LOC averaged 95.8±6.5%. National medical teams reported 60.6±16.6% of all injuries, and LOC 28.7±15.0% whereas 10.6±6.5% of injuries were reported by both.
Conclusions The injury surveillance system used during international athletics championships had good methodological qualities, with high national medical team participation, coverage of athletes, response rates and completeness of injury data. These parameters should be systematically given when reporting injury surveillance studies to show the methodological quality of the study.
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