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Strategic Assessment of Risk and Risk Tolerance (StARRT) framework for return-to-play decision-making
  1. Ian Shrier
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ian Shrier, Centre for Clinical Epidemiology, Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Jewish General Hospital, 3755 Ch. Côte Ste-Catherine, Montréal, Quebec, Canada H3T 1E2; ian.shrier{at}


The sport medicine clinician is faced with return-to-play (RTP) decisions for every patient who wants to return to activity. The complex interaction of factors related to history, physical examination, testing, activity and baseline characteristics can make RTP decision-making challenging. Further, when reasoning is not explicit, unnecessary conflict can arise among clinicians themselves, or among clinicians and patients. This conflict can have negative health consequences for the patient. In 2010, a transparent framework for RTP decisions was proposed. However, some have identified limitations to the framework and found difficulties in its implementation. This paper presents a revised framework that addresses the limitations, and provides concrete examples of how to apply it in simple and complex cases.

  • Method
  • Review
  • Sports & exercise medicine

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