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Advancing adherence research in sport injury prevention
  1. Oluwatoyosi B A Owoeye1,2,
  2. Carly D McKay3,
  3. Evert A L M Verhagen4,5,
  4. Carolyn A Emery1,2,6
  1. 1 Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre, Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  2. 2 Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  3. 3 Department for Health, University of Bath, Bath, UK
  4. 4 Amsterdam Collaboration on Health and Safety in Sports, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  5. 5 Department of Public and Occupational Health, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam Movement Sciences, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  6. 6 Department of Pediatrics, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Oluwatoyosi B A Owoeye, Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre, Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4, Canada; oluwatoyosi.owoeye{at}

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Why all the fuss about adherence?

Have you ever wondered why some patients do not adhere to drug prescriptions despite warnings regarding the health consequences of non-adherence? The simple reason is that it takes more than just a prescription and education to get patients to take their drugs. A similar scenario has become apparent in the field of sport injury prevention. Over the past two decades, sport injury prevention researchers have developed innovative and proven interventions for injury prevention in athletes. However, most interventions have been developed without the optimal implementation context in mind. Researchers provide evidence of intervention efficacy and as much public advocacy as possible, more like the ’prescribe and educate’ tradition. Unfortunately, the challenge of non-adherence remains palpable.

The WHO defines adherence as ‘the extent to which a person’s behaviour – taking medication, following a diet, and/or executing lifestyle changes – corresponds with agreed recommendations from a healthcare provider’.1 The effectiveness of any treatment or prevention intervention is determined jointly by its efficacy and user adherence to the intervention. While it is common practice for ‘compliance’ and ‘adherence’ to be interchangeably used by researchers, these constructs have different meanings.1 2 Adherence has been identified …

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