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Non-participation in sports injury research: why football players choose not to be involved
  1. R Braham1,
  2. C Finch2,
  3. P McCrory3
  1. 1Sports Injury Prevention Research Unit, Monash University
  2. 2University of New South Wales, NSW Injury Risk Management Research Centre
  3. 3Brain Research Institute and Centre for Sports Medicine Research and Education, University of Melbourne
  1. Correspondence to:
 Associate Professor Caroline Finch
 University of New South Wales, NSW Injury Risk Management Research Centre, Sydney 2052, Australia;


Objective: To ascertain the reasons behind players not participating in a sports safety research project.

Methods: During the preseason, 10 Australian football clubs volunteered 23 teams to participate in a protective equipment randomised controlled trial, the Australian Football Injury Prevention Project (AFIPP). All players from these teams were invited to participate. Players who did not agree to participate in AFIPP were surveyed about their reasons for non-involvement.

Results: 110 football players (response rate 63.6%) completed the non-responder survey and cited the two main reasons behind non-involvement in the project as “I did not know about the project” (39.4%) and “I was not at training when the research team visited” (36.5%).

Conclusions and implications: Preseason may not be the best time for maximal player recruitment in community based sports safety research. Enhanced communication between researchers and players at community level football clubs during the recruitment phase is likely to improve response rates.

  • Australian football
  • randomised controlled trial
  • sports safety
  • non-participation
  • AFIPP, Australian Football Injury Prevention Project
  • RCT, randomised controlled trial
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