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Towards the reduction of injury and illness in athletes: defining our research priorities
  1. Caroline F Finch1,
  2. Roald Bahr2,3,
  3. Jonathan A Drezner4,
  4. Jiri Dvorak5,
  5. Lars Engebretsen2,
  6. Timothy E Hewett6,
  7. Astrid Junge5,7,
  8. Karim M Khan8,
  9. Domhnall MacAuley9,
  10. Gordon O Matheson10,
  11. Paul McCrory1,11,
  12. Evert Verhagen12
  1. 1Australian Collaboration for Research into Injury in Sport and its Prevention (ACRISP), Federation University Australia, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
  2. 2Department of Sports Medicine, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center, Oslo, Norway
  3. 3Aspetar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Qatar
  4. 4Department of Family Medicine, Center for Sports Cardiology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
  5. 5Department of Neurology, Schulthess Clinic Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
  6. 6Mayo Clinic Biomechanics Laboratories and Sports Medicine Center, Departments of Orthopedics, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Physiology & Biomedical Engineering, Mayo Clinic, Rochester and Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
  7. 7Medical School Hamburg (MSH), Germany
  8. 8Department of Family Practice, University of British Columbia, Centre for Mobility and Health, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  9. 9Faculty of Life and Health Studies, University of Ulster, Jordanstown, UK
  10. 10Division of Sports Medicine, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, School of Medicine and Human Biology Program, School of Humanities and Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA
  11. 11Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  12. 12Department of Public and Occupational Health, Amsterdam Collaboration on Health and Safety in Sports, EMGO+ Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Professor Caroline F Finch, Australian Collaboration for Research into Injury in Sport and its Prevention (ACRISP), Federation University Australia, P.O. Box 663, Ballarat, VIC 3353, Australia; c.finch{at}federation.edu.au

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Introduction

A decade ago, Blair1 pondered the future of physical activity research, much of which has since come to pass. More recently, a BJSM Blog2 invited readers to consider how their future research would look. Given the increased international focus on reducing injury/illness in athletes, it is timely to consider what research needs to be undertaken and acted on to achieve feasible reductions over the next 10 years.

‘Future Studies’3 or ‘Thought Leadership’ happens when a defined group of experts calls attention to what they think will be important for their field in the future. This is common in social science disciplines (eg, finance) and in scientific areas with major implications for policy development (eg, in climate control/environmental science). It has been less commonly applied in medicine, though it has underpinned discussion in areas like cancer research4 and academic medicine.5

Thought leadership involves big picture thinking and can lead to new ideas for major developments over time. There is evidence that such exercises can significantly shape research agenda and priority setting. This novel approach was applied to Sports and Exercise Medicine through asking a select group of international experts to contribute their priority research directions for the next 10 years. This is intended as a starting point only, to stimulate discussion with, and elicit responses from, the broader community interested in the prevention of injury and illness in athletes.

The experts

International experts were invited to participate if they had delivered ≥1 keynote addresses at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) World Conferences of Prevention of Injury and Illness in Sport in 2011, 2014 or their precursor conferences organised by the Oslo Sports Trauma Research Centre in 2005 and 2008. Of 21 keynote speakers, 12 contributed their views to this paper. The experts covered a range of disciplines, including clinical sports …

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