Background To reduce the number of Handball injuries implementation of preventive measures on all organisational levels is necessary. In Dutch handball clubs, many youth teams are trained/coached by volunteers. Qualified trainers at senior level come and go.
Objective To investigate (barriers and facilitators to) current preventive policies in Dutch handball clubs.
Design Cross-sectional survey.
Setting An online survey was sent to all (371) Dutch handball clubs in February 2018.
Participants Technical committee members/head coaches of sixty-seven clubs (18% response), covering all competition levels, answered the questionnaire. Units of investigation: Handball clubs: management and trainer level
Main Outcome Measurements Club policies regarding injury prevention and barriers and facilitators for implementation on club level.
Results Of all responding clubs, 20% had a club policy on injury prevention, in 51% the choice was up to trainers themselves and the other 29% had no clear knowledge of a policy on injury prevention. Only 14% of all clubs had a long-term policy on maintenance of preventive measures. On average 30% of the active trainers in a club had a trainer’s licence of any level. Important barriers for implementation were insufficient knowledge on injury prevention in trainers and/or within the club and lack of implementation competencies within the club. Other barriers were financial, organisational and the high number of volunteers. Insight in the contents and effectiveness of preventive measures by means of an app and/or yearly in-company workshops were suggested strategies to facilitate implementation. Furthermore, external support from the Dutch Handball Federation and support for the implementation process in the club as well as incorporating prevention within athlete development were mentioned.
Conclusions Injury prevention policies seem to be scarcely implemented in Dutch handball clubs although interpretation of these results must take the 18% response rate into consideration. Externally supported knowledge transfer and implementation management on club level are needed to facilitate the implementation of injury prevention in Dutch handball clubs.
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