Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Preparticipation injury complaint is a risk factor for injury: a prospective study of the Moscow 2013 IAAF Championships
  1. Juan-Manuel Alonso 1 , 2,
  2. Jenny Jacobsson 3 , 4,
  3. Toomas Timpka 3,
  4. Ola Ronsen 1 , 5,
  5. Alma Kajenienne 1 , 6,
  6. Örjan Dahlström 7,
  7. Armin Spreco 3,
  8. Pascal Edouard 8 , 9 , 10
  1. 1 Medical and Anti-doping Commission, International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), Monaco, Monaco
  2. 2 Sports Medicine Department, Aspetar, Qatar Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Qatar
  3. 3 Athletics Research Center, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
  4. 4 Swedish Athletics Association, Stockholm, Sweden
  5. 5 Aker Solutions, Lysaker, Norway
  6. 6 Institute of Sport, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas, Lithuania
  7. 7 Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
  8. 8 Department of Clinical and Exercise Physiology, Sports Medicine Unity, Faculty of Medicine, University Hospital of Saint-Etienne, Saint-Etienne, France
  9. 9 Laboratory of Exercise Physiology (LPE EA 4338), University of Lyon, Saint-Etienne, France
  10. 10 Medical Commission, French Athletics Federation (FFA), Paris, France
  1. Correspondence to Dr Juan-Manuel Alonso, Sports Medicine Department, Aspetar, Qatar Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Hospital, PO Box 29222, Doha, Qatar; juan-manuel.alonso{at}


Objectives To determine the health status of athletes before the start of an international athletics championship and to determine whether preparticipation risk factors predicted in-championship injuries.

Methods At the beginning of the 2013 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships, all registered athletes (n=1784) were invited to complete a preparticipation health questionnaire (PHQ) on health status during the month preceding the championships. New injuries that occurred at the championships were prospectively recorded.

Results The PHQ was completed by 698 (39%) athletes; 204 (29.2%) reported an injury complaint during the month before the championships. The most common mode of onset of preparticipation injury complaints was gradual (43.6%). Forty-nine athletes in the study reported at least one injury during the championships. Athletes who reported a preparticipation injury complaint were at twofold increased risk for an in-championship injury (OR=2.09; 95% CI 1.16 to 3.77); p=0.014). Those who reported a preparticipation gradual-onset injury complaint were at an almost fourfold increased risk for an in-championship time-loss injury (OR=3.92; 95% CI 1.69 to 9.08); p=0.001). Importantly, the preparticipation injury complaint severity score was associated with the risk of sustaining an in-championship injury (OR=1.14; 95% CI 1.06 to 1.22); p=0.001).

Summary and conclusions About one-third of the athletes participating in the study reported an injury complaint during the month before the championships, which represented a risk factor for sustaining an injury during the championship. This study emphasises the importance of the PHQ as a screening tool to identify athletes at risk of injuries before international championships.

  • Injuries
  • Epidemiology
  • Risk factor
  • Athletics
View Full Text

Statistics from

Supplementary materials

  • Supplementary Data

    This web only file has been produced by the BMJ Publishing Group from an electronic file supplied by the author(s) and has not been edited for content.

    Files in this Data Supplement:

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.