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A decade ago, Blair1 pondered the future of physical activity research, much of which has since come to pass. More recently, a BJSM Blog2 invited readers to consider how their future research would look. Given the increased international focus on reducing injury/illness in athletes, it is timely to consider what research needs to be undertaken and acted on to achieve feasible reductions over the next 10 years.
‘Future Studies’3 or ‘Thought Leadership’ happens when a defined group of experts calls attention to what they think will be important for their field in the future. This is common in social science disciplines (eg, finance) and in scientific areas with major implications for policy development (eg, in climate control/environmental science). It has been less commonly applied in medicine, though it has underpinned discussion in areas like cancer research4 and academic medicine.5
Thought leadership involves big picture thinking and can lead to new ideas for major developments over time. There is evidence that such exercises can significantly shape research agenda and priority setting. This novel approach was applied to Sports and Exercise Medicine through asking a select group of international experts to contribute their priority research directions for the next 10 years. This is intended as a starting point only, to stimulate discussion with, and elicit responses from, the broader community interested in the prevention of injury and illness in athletes.
International experts were invited to participate if they had delivered ≥1 keynote addresses at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) World Conferences of Prevention of Injury and Illness in Sport in 2011, 2014 or their precursor conferences organised by the Oslo Sports Trauma Research Centre in 2005 and 2008. Of 21 keynote speakers, 12 contributed their views to this paper. The experts covered a range of disciplines, including clinical sports …
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Contributors The study was conceived by CFF. All authors provided direct input to the study through their responses to an online survey and contributed to the writing and/or editing of the manuscript. Apart from the first author, who initiated this work, all other authors contributed equally to this manuscript and are listed in alphabetical order.
Funding CFF was funded by an NMHRC Principal Research Fellowship (ID: 1058737). Aspects of this study were funded through IOC Research Centres Programme support to the Australian Collaboration for Research into Injury in Sport and its Prevention (ACRISP) at Federation University Australia.
Competing interests None declared.
Ethics approval Federation University Australia Human Research Ethics Committee.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.