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Strategies to prevent injury in adolescent sport: a systematic review
  1. Liz Abernethy1,
  2. Chris Bleakley2
  1. 1
    Musgrave Park Hospital, Belfast, Northern Ireland
  2. 2
    Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Research Institute, University of Ulster, Jordanstown, Northern Ireland
  1. Dr Liz Abernethy, Physicians Office, W3A Withers Orthopaedic Unit, Musgrave Park Hospital, Belfast BT9 7JR, UK; liz.abernethy{at}


This systematic review set out to identify randomised controlled trials and controlled intervention studies that evaluated the effectiveness of preventive strategies in adolescent sport and to draw conclusions on the strength of the evidence. A literature search in seven databases (Medline, SportDiscus, EMBASE, CINAHL, PEDro, Cochrane Review and DARE) was carried out using four keywords: adolescent, sport, injury and prevention (expanded to capture any relevant literature). Assessment of 154 papers found 12 studies eligible for inclusion. It can be concluded that injury prevention strategies that focus on preseason conditioning, functional training, education, balance and sport-specific skills, which should be continued throughout the sporting season, are effective. The evidence for the effectiveness of protective equipment in injury prevention is inconclusive and requires further assessment.

  • adolescent
  • injury
  • prevention

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  • Competing interests: None.

  • Abbreviations:
    anterior cruciate ligament
    number needed to treat