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An ounce of prevention?
  1. L Engebretsen,
  2. R Bahr
  1. Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center, Department of Sports Medicine, Norwegian University of Sport & Physical Education, Oslo, Norway
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Engebretsen
 Orthopaedic Center, Ullevaal University Hospital, Oslo, Norway;

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Justification is provided for the need to focus on research into sports injury prevention

The First World Congress on Sports Injury Prevention is taking place in Oslo, Norway 23–25 June 2005. At a time when there is an abundance of medical meetings, journals, and papers, some might argue that the last thing we need is a new congress focusing on yet another field of research. What would justify such an emphasis on a new and developing research field in medicine?1 Firstly, it must ask important questions not answered by others. Secondly, the new research field should have the potential to create truly new knowledge, lead to new ways of thinking, and lay the foundation for improved health for our patients. This is usually not possible without a multidisciplinary approach, involving a mixture of basic scientists and clinicians. Thirdly, research results from the new field should be publishable in respected journals, recognised and cited by peers, presentable at high quality meetings, and fundable on competitive grant review.1

Let us examine each of these issues to see if there is sufficient merit in research into sports injury prevention. Firstly, is injury prevention important? Epidemiological studies show that, of injuries seen by a doctor in Scandinavia, every sixth is sustained during sporting activity.2 Among children, every third hospital-treated injury is the result of sports participation.2 A research group within the English Football Association found that …

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  • Competing interests: none declared