Background Injury risk is high in Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) student. Insight in the population’s perspectives on injury prevention supports developing context-driven preventive strategies.
Objective The objective was to describe sports injury prevention practices from PETE students’ perspective and map their suggestions for improvement.
Design Qualitative study.
Setting PETE programs at Dutch Universities of Applied Sciences.
Participants Recruitment took place via convenience sampling. Students were invited to participate by e-mail. Participants were informed about the study’s goals and procedures and completed informed consent and a baseline questionnaire (e.g., age, sports participation, injury history). Inclusion criteria for participants were: 1) completed the first three years of the PETE program; 2) understanding of the Dutch language at the native level. In total 21 participants from four different PETE schools were included.
Main Outcome Measurements We conducted semi-structured interviews, which were transcribed verbatim and analysed using the thematic analysis method.
Results All the participants mentioned applying various preventive measures. They described injury prevention as a standard part of daily life an approached it in a dynamic way. Their primary strategy was to balance load and recovery. The critical factors to apply injury prevention successfully mentioned were: communication, learning what works, self-management, shared responsibilities, and social support. The main motives for injury prevention were to care for the body and perform well (e.g., academic success, sports). Given the participants, injury prevention could be improved in various ways, but mostly by enhancing the PETE program’s load management (e.g., schedules) and offering injury prevention education (e.g., theory, practical skills).
Conclusions This study provided insight into how injury prevention is shaped in practice, identified critical factors and motives for injury prevention, and mapped recommendations for its improvement from the target population. The findings support the development of context-driven preventive strategies in the PETE population.
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