Background Injury risk is high during PE teacher education (PETE) and varies between curriculum years, settings and sex. Prospective studies covering the full 4-year period of PETE training are needed to identify risk factors.
Objective To identify the contribution of specific sports, settings (intra- versus extracurricular), curriculum years and sex to the nature and distribution of sports injuries in PE students.
Design Prospective cohort study.
Setting A Dutch polytechnic for PETE.
Patients (or Participants) All 2,903 PE students (male n=1,951, female n=954), who were enrolled between 2000 and 2014.
Assessment of Risk Factors Nature and distribution of sports injuries were summarized for the following categories: sex, sports, setting, and curriculum year.
Main Outcome Measurements All new musculoskeletal complaints related to sports participation, for which medical advice was sought by any of the PETE students.
Results A total of 2,326 new injuries were reported by 1,332 students. For both sexes injuries to the ankle (n=494, 21.2%), knee (n=474, 20.4%), lower leg (n=249, 10.7%), shoulder (n=209, 9.0%) and back (n=183, 7.9%) were most frequently reported. The percentage of knee and back injuries increased after the first year, whereas the percentage of lower leg injuries decreased by 57%. Most intracurricular injuries were sustained during gymnastics (20.7%), team sports (20.4%) and track and field athletics (12.0%). Soccer (40.0%; female 19.8%, male, 51.0%) and other team sports (22.2%; female 35.4%, male 15.1%) accounted for most extracurricular injuries. Most ankle injuries (89.7% acute) were sustained during team sports (51.9%) and gymnastics (16.4%). Lower leg injuries (84.3% overuse), and knee, shoulder and back, injuries were sustained during more diverse sports activities.
Conclusions Differential injury distributions for specific injuries between curriculum years, setting and sports need to be taken into consideration in further research on injury risk and preventive measures in PETE.
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