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148 Perceived injury risk among elite track & field athletes — a questionnaire-based study
  1. Maria Mereman
  1. The Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden


Background Studies of Swedish track and field athletes have shown that there is a substantial risk of injury. None of these studies have investigated the potential role of how athletes perceive their injury risk, and how it may play a part in the occurrence of sport injuries.

Objective Explore how Swedish track and field athletes perceive their injury risk, and examine the potential correlation with prior injury experience.

Design A quantitative design, an exploratory study.

Setting Swedish junior elite track and field athletes.

Patients (or Participants) The convenience sample comprised 69 out of 97 Swedish junior elite track & field athletes. The entry criteria included injury free when answering the questionnaire, active in track & field, participated in at least one youth or junior national team between 2013 and 2017.

Interventions (or Assessment of Risk Factors) The participants had four weeks to fill out a two-part online questionnaire. The first part requested relevant personal information including previous injuries in the past 12 months; the second part consisted of ’The Perception of Risk of Injury Scale’ (RISSc), but modified accordingly to the targeted sport.

Main Outcome Measurements RISSc scores were set as the dependent variable.

Results Non-significant results (p=0,095) were found between gender and perceived injury risk. If an athlete reported more than one injury in the past 12 months, they perceived their re-injury risk (p<0,025) to be higher. Significant results were found between perceived injury risk and the severity of the injury (p<0,006, r=-0,32).

Conclusions Previous injury has a small correlation to perceived injury risk. It may be possible to reduce negative perceptions concerning re-injury in athletes with higher perceptions of injury risk. Awareness of re-injury should be increased among athletes with a history of severe injury. This study may serve as a springboard for additional research.

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