Background Few studies have longitudinally assessed the epidemiology of sports-related injuries and illnesses in Paralympic sport (SRIIPS).
Objective The objective of this study was to develop and test a weekly e-diary for self-reports of SRIIPS in an electronic system specifically adapted for Paralympic athletes with various impairments.
Design Prospective cohort pilot study.
Setting Paralympic athletes.
Patients (or Participants) Twenty-eight Swedish Paralympic athletes with vision (n=11), physical (n=15) and intellectual impairments (n=2) active in in 11 sports.
Interventions (or Assessment of Risk Factors) The athletes were asked to self-report SRIIPS, pain, anxiety, training load and exposure weekly during 4 weeks.
Main Outcome Measurements System usability indicators and SRIIPS.
Results The average weekly response rate was 95%. One athlete dropped out. There were few missing data and a majority could respond to all questions. The system worked well for athletes with physical and intellectual impairment. Some visually impaired athletes perceived it difficult to respond to multiple-choice questions. Ten of the athletes found it partly difficult to define a new injury. Fifteen new injuries and fourteen new illnesses were reported, giving a cumulative incidence of 1.8 injuries/100 hours and 1.7 illnesses/100 hours of athlete exposure. A total of 80% of the injuries were related to overuse. The typical injury severity was 1–3 days time loss of training. In 20% of the injuries and 21% of the illnesses the impairment was involved in the cause.
Conclusions This is the first study of self-reported SRIIPS. Overall, the proposed method and variables worked satisfactory. The electronic data collection system needs to be adjusted to visually impaired athletes and injury definitions need to be explained in more detail and examples provided. Based on this, we prepare a prospective longitudinal study (1 year) with the aim to estimate the annual self-reported incidence of SRIIPS.
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