Background Elite athletes' injuries are multi-factorial and sport specific. However, the inter-relationships between sport type characteristics and injury types and related variables are not clear.
Objective To test the inter-relationships between 2 injury related variables and 2 adapted sport types of elite athletes.
Design and Setting A bi-national, cross-sectional and retrospective injury incident survey was conducted. Currently active or retired national delegation athletes trained for international competitions of Olympic sports were targeted.
Participants 269 Taiwanese (f/m: 119/150, age 23±6.7) and 66 German (f/m: 32/34, age=25.8±6.9) elite athletes were recruited from national sport training centres, sport federations and universities.
Assessment of Risk Factors The assessment of injury incidence and injury risk of body parts was conducted by adapting 8 injury types (muscle, bone_acute, bone_chronic, tissue_chronic, exceeded range of motion, connective tissue, soft tissue and others) and 4 body sections (head & neck, chest & back, upper_extremity and lower_extremity) categorized from total of 87 injury options on entry form. Five sport_formats (individual_no contact, team_no contact, team_contact, individual_combat, team_combat) and 5 sport_locations (on land_no locomotion, on land_with locomotion, on water, in snow, on ice) categories were used to classify 38 original Olympic sport types.
Main Outcome Measurements Sport training related injury incidences were taken as outcome measurement. 2 adapted sport related category-variables (sport_format and sport_location) were formulated for test of hypothesis.
Results Sport_format variable influenced the results of 4 injury types (muscle, bone_chronic, exceeded range-of-motion and connecting-tissues) and 1 injured body section (head&neck) significantly. Sport_location variable influenced the results of 4 injury types (muscle, bone_acute, tissue_chronic and exceeded range-of-motion) and 3 injured body sections (head & neck, upper extremity and lower extremity). Age influenced the results of 3 injury types (bone_chronic, tissues_chronic and other injuries) and all 4 body sections. Gender influenced the results of connecting tissue type of injury and the injury result of head & neck section.
Conclusions With these sport type, injury type/injury section specificity information, elite athletes, coach and sport trainer/therapist can further utilize and build detailed injury prevention or rehabilitation program.