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366 Shining a light on injury status: developing an effective method to monitor player availability and improve communication between coaches and medical staff
  1. Ciarán Purcell1,2,
  2. Catherine Blake1,2,
  3. Ulrik McCarthy Persson1,2,
  4. Sinead McMahon1,2,
  5. Caitriona Cunningham1,2,
  6. Frank Kenny1,2
  1. 1UCD Physiotherapy Hub, Dublin, Ireland
  2. 2UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sport Science, Dublin, Ireland


Background Retturn to play decisions are complex. Pathways considering effective communication should be considered. High correlations between sports medicine/management communication and athlete injuries have been reported.

Objective Design and implement a pratical sports medicine/management communication tool with UCD Athletic Football Club’s (AFC) Premier division team for an 8 week trial.

Design Prospective Exploratory study.

Setting UCD Physiotherpy Hub- physiotherapists, supported by students provide sports physiotherapy services. UCD AFC’s top tier team competes in the Irish Premier Division.

Patients (or Participants) UCD AFC team selected through puposive sampling. Coaches approached seeking qualitative feedback regarding the communication tool. Only de-identified data reported.

Main Outcome Measurements ’Traffic Light System’ : Model chosen based on sports medicine and management staff consensus. Players were categorised as Green-fit to play, Yellow-fit to play with caution, Amber-fit for light training only or Red-not fit to play. Classification was based on combining return to play criteria/outcome measures and clinical decision making by the Physiotherapist. Player availability (group and individual) in pie chart and table format was shared with management prior to training sessions/games.

Qualitative Feedback Management feedback gathered through a survey at the end of the 8 week trial.

Results Descriptive results Twenty seven UCD Soccer athletes of mean age 20.26±1.3 years monitoried over an 8 week mid-season period. Sixteen initial Physiotherapy clinical sessions completed. Average availability 69% Green 8.6% Yellow 9.3% Amber 13% Red.

Qualitative results Surveys were completed by 3 AFC Management staff. Key themes: i) Ease of interpretation ii) Application to training session/game planning iii) Improving availability and transparency

Conclusions The ’Traffic light System’ was time efficient, low cost, and has received positive preliminary feedback. Trialling the system over a full season is needed to guage long term utility.

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