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378 Maximising the relevance and dissemination of the IOC medical consensus statements: key stakeholder’s perceptions of the IOC consensus statements in a developing country (South Africa)
  1. Marelise Badenhorst4,
  2. Lauren Fortington1,
  3. Caroline Bolling2,
  4. Evert Verhagen2,
  5. Carolyn Emery3,
  6. Martin Schwellnus5,
  7. Kati Pasanen3,
  8. Wayne Derman4,
  9. Caroline Finch1
  1. 1Australian Centre for Research into Injury in Sport and its Prevention (ACRISP), School of Medical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Australia
  2. 2Amsterdam Collaboration on Health and Safety in Sports, Department of Public and Occupational Health, Amsterdam UMC, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  3. 3Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada
  4. 4Insitute of Sport and Exercise Medicine, University of Stellenbosch, Cape Town, South Africa
  5. 5Sport, Exercise Medicine and Lifestyle Institute (SEMLI), University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


Background The IOC Sports Medical and Scientific Commission has supported the development and dissemination of sports medicine consensus statements for athlete health. Evidence on the relevance and dissemination of these statements is important for the development of future statements.

Objective The objective of this project was to investigate the relevance and dissemination of the IOC consensus statements among sports medicine professionals directly involved in Olympic athlete health in a developing setting (South Africa).

Design Qualitative case study.

Methods Semi-structured interviews, document analysis and field-notes were utilised. Seven sports medicine professionals interviewed.

Results Awareness around consensus statement topics and perceived access to the statements was limited in South Africa, especially for clinicians who are not currently active within an academic or research setting. In terms of relevance, participants described the importance of practical relevance of the statements, emphasizing the need for inclusion of the athlete’s voice and diversity in skills, experience and context of the consensus statement authors. Participants also described the need to align format and content of the information according to the target audience. The usability and utilisation of the statements were determined by the perception of relevance at the time, within the specific context, as well as the ability to provide a practical message. Healthcare inequities, poorly resourced national federations, as well as general resource and time restrictions when managing athletes (reactive versus pro-active management) were also considered as barriers to utilisation.

Conclusions The statements were perceived by South African sports medicine professionals as being relevant and beneficial for the management of athlete health. However, issues around awareness, access, usability, and practical application in a developing country were also raised.

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