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Effectiveness of an e-health tennis-specific injury prevention programme: randomised controlled trial in adult recreational tennis players


Background Despite reported injury rates of up to 3 per 1000 hours exposure, there are no evidence-based prevention programmes in tennis.

Purpose To evaluate the effectiveness of an e-health prevention programme for reducing tennis injury prevalence.

Study design Two-arm, researcher-blinded randomised controlled trial.

Methods Adult tennis players of all playing levels were randomised in an unsupervised programme lasting 12 weeks (TennisReady group or control group). The primary outcome was the overall injury prevalence over a 16-week period, measured at 2 weekly intervals with the Oslo Sports and Trauma Research Centre questionnaire. Estimates for the primary outcome and associated 95% CIs were obtained using generalised estimating equation models. Secondary outcome scores included prevalence of substantial injuries, overall incidence, adherence and time-loss injuries.

Results A total of 579 (83%) (TennisReady n=286, control n=293) participants were included in the primary analysis. The mean injury prevalence was 37% (95% CI 33% to 42%) in the TennisReady vs 38% (95% CI 34% to 42%) in the control group (adjusted p-value 0.93). The prevalence of substantial injuries was 11% (95% CI 9% to 14%) in the TennisReady vs 12% (95% CI 9% to 15%) in the control group (p value of 0.79). Analysis of the secondary outcome scores showed no difference between groups. The mean prevalence rates between high (8%) and low (92%) adherent groups were 32% (95% CI 23% to 44%) and 37% (95% CI 33% to 42%), respectively (p value 0.36).

Conclusion Providing an unsupervised e-health tennis-specific exercise programme did not reduce the injury rates and should not be implemented.

Trial registration number NTR6443.

  • tennis
  • Injury prevention
  • Exercise
  • App
  • Randomised controlled trial

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