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Statement on methods in sport injury research from the 1st METHODS MATTER Meeting, Copenhagen, 2019
  1. Rasmus Oestergaard Nielsen1,2,
  2. Ian Shrier3,
  3. Marti Casals4,5,
  4. Albertro Nettel-Aguirre6,
  5. Merete Møller7,
  6. Caroline Bolling8,
  7. Natália Franco Netto Bittencourt8,9,10,
  8. Benjamin Clarsen11,12,
  9. Niels Wedderkopp13,14,
  10. Torbjørn Soligard15,
  11. Toomas Timpka16,
  12. Carolyn Emery17,
  13. Roald Bahr12,
  14. Jenny Jacobsson18,
  15. Rod Whiteley19,
  16. Orjan Dahlstrom20,
  17. Nicol van Dyk21,
  18. Babette M Pluim8,22,23,
  19. Emmanuel Stamatakis24,25,
  20. Luz Palacios-Derflingher26,
  21. Morten Wang Fagerland12,
  22. Karim M Khan27,28,
  23. Clare L Ardern29,30,
  24. Evert Verhagen8
  1. 1 Department of Public Health, Section for Sports Science, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
  2. 2 Research Unit for General Practice, Aarhus, Denmark
  3. 3 Centre for Clinical Epidemiology, Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Jewish General Hospital, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  4. 4 Sport and Physical Activity Studies Centre (CEEAF), Faculty of Medicine, University of Vic-Central University of Catalonia (UVic-UCC), Barcelona, Spain
  5. 5 Medical Department, Futbol Club Barcelona, Barça Innovation Hub, Barcelona, Spain
  6. 6 Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  7. 7 Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
  8. 8 Amsterdam Collaboration on Health and Safety in Sports, Department of Public and Occupational Health, Amsterdam UMC, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam Movement Sciences, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  9. 9 Sports Physical Therapy Department, Minas Tenis Clube, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
  10. 10 Physical Therapy, Centro Universitário UniBH, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
  11. 11 Department of Health Promotion, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Bergen, Norway
  12. 12 Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Department of Sports Medicine, Oslo, Norway
  13. 13 Department of Regional Health Research, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
  14. 14 The Orthopedic department, Hospital of Southwestern Jutland, Esbjerg, Denmark
  15. 15 Medical and Scientific Department, International Olympic Committee, Lausanne, Switzerland
  16. 16 Health and Society, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
  17. 17 Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  18. 18 Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
  19. 19 Aspetar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Qatar
  20. 20 Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
  21. 21 High Performance Unit, Irish Rugby Football Union, Dublin, Ireland
  22. 22 Section Sports Medicine, Faculty of Health Science, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
  23. 23 Medical Department, Royal Netherlands Lawn Tennis Association, Amstelveen, The Netherlands
  24. 24 School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  25. 25 University College London, London, UK
  26. 26 Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  27. 27 Department of Family Practice, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  28. 28 British Journal of Sports Medicine, London, United Kingdom
  29. 29 Division of Physiotherapy, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
  30. 30 Division of Physiotherapy, Department of Neurobiology, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
  1. Correspondence to Dr Rasmus Oestergaard Nielsen, Department of Public Health, Section for Sports Science, Aarhus University, Aarhus 8000, Denmark; roen{at}


High quality sports injury research can facilitate sports injury prevention and treatment. There is scope to improve how our field applies best practice methods—methods matter (greatly!). The 1st METHODS MATTER Meeting, held in January 2019 in Copenhagen, Denmark, was the forum for an international group of researchers with expertise in research methods to discuss sports injury methods. We discussed important epidemiological and statistical topics within the field of sports injury research. With this opinion document, we provide the main take-home messages that emerged from the meeting.

  • statistics
  • epidemiology
  • injury
  • methodology

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  • Twitter @RUNSAFE_Rasmus, @CasalsTMarti, @Merete_Moller, @bittencourt_nfn, @benclarsen, @TSoligard, @CarolynAEmery, @Jenny_Jacobsson, @RodWhiteley, @NicolvanDyk, @docpluim, @M_Stamatakis, @clare_ardern, @Evertverhagen

  • Presented at This article has been co-published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine and Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy

  • Correction notice This article has been corrected since it published Online First. Affiliation 21 has been updated.

  • Contributors RON and EV led the process of drafting the manuscript. Six sections were drafted: BC, RB and CLA drafted the “No universal sports injury definition is necessary” section. CE, NW, AN-A, LP-D and MC drafted the “Which statistical approach should I choose?” section. EV, NFNB, CSB, TT and RW drafted the “Sports injuries are complex and contextual” section. MWF, NvD, JJ and MM drafted the “Analysing longitudinal data” section. NvD, TS, EV, ÖD and IS drafted the “Dealing with recurrent or subsequent injury” section. LP-D, KMK, IS, NW, RB and ES drafted the sections “Be explicit about the goal of your research: are you describing, predicting or drawing a causal inference” and “Frameworks can guide researchers”. All authors drafted the “Need for multidisciplinary teams and collaborations” section. The content of these sections was merged by EV and RON. All authors contributed with important intellectual content.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests KMK is Editor in Chief, British Journal of Sports Medicine and CLA is Editor in Chief, Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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