Background: The reported incidence, severity and nature of injuries sustained in tennis vary considerably between studies. While some of these variations can be explained by differences in sample populations and conditions, the main reasons are related to differences in definitions and methodologies employed in the studies.
Objective: This statement aims to review existing consensus statements for injury surveillance in other sports in order to establish definitions, methods and reporting procedures that are applicable to the specific requirements of tennis.
Design: The International Tennis Federation facilitated a meeting of 11 experts from seven countries representing a range of tennis stakeholders. Using a mixed methods consensus approach, key issues related to definitions, methodology and implementation were discussed and voted on by the group during a structured 1-day meeting. Following this meeting, two members of the group collaborated to produce a draft statement, based on the group discussions and voting outcomes. Three revisions were prepared and circulated for comment before the final consensus statement was produced.
Results: A definition of medical conditions (injuries and illnesses) that should be recorded in tennis epidemiological studies and criteria for recording the severity and nature of these conditions are proposed. Suggestions are made for recording players’ baseline information together with recommendations on how medical conditions sustained during match play and training should be reported.
Conclusions: The definitions and methodology proposed for recording injuries and illnesses sustained during tennis activities will lead to more consistent and comparable data being collected. The surveillance procedures presented here may also be applicable to other racket sports.
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