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Women’s rugby league injury claims and costs in New Zealand
  1. Doug King1,*,
  2. Patria Anne Hume2,
  3. Peter D Milburn3,
  4. Simon Gianotti4
  1. 1 Hutt Valley District Health Board, New Zealand;
  2. 2 Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand;
  3. 3 Griffith University, Australia;
  4. 4 Accident Compensation Corporation, New Zealand
  1. Correspondence to: Doug King, Emergency Department, Hutt Valley District Health Board, Emergency Department, Hutt Valley District Health Board, Private Bag, Lower Hutt, 6001, New Zealand; doug.king{at}clear.net.nz

Abstract

Aim: This paper provides an overview of the epidemiology of women’s rugby league injuries requiring medical treatment and associated costs in New Zealand.

Method: New Zealand Accident Compensation Corporation injury data for the period 1999 to 2007 were searched for rugby league injury cases occurring in females.

Results: There were 320 moderate to serious (MSC) injury claims recorded for females participating in rugby league activities over the study period. There was a mean (±SD) of 37.9 (±9.5) injury claims per year. The mean cost per year for the study period was $196,514 (£76,066) (±$99,133 [£38,374]) with half of the injury claims occurring in New Zealand Maori. Concussion / brain injuries accounted for 3.8% of total female MSC injury claims but accounted for 5.4% of female injury costs ($84,399 [£32,688]) with the highest mean cost per claim ($7,033 [£2,724]). The lower limb accounted for 65% of the total female injury claims and 58.7% of total injury costs ($922,296 [£356,968]).

Discussion: When compared with other studies in rugby league injuries, it appears that females incur substantially fewer injuries (5.7%) than males (94.3%). The high frequency (65%) and cost proportion (58.7%) for lower limb injuries was higher in females than in male rugby league players (previously reported as 42.4% of the injury claims and 31.5% of the total injury claim costs for the lower limb).

Conclusions: Injury prevention programmes for women’s rugby league should focus on the 25-29 age group and address ways to prevent concussion and lower limb injuries.

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