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Expanding sports injury prevention to include trauma and adversity
  1. Yetsa A Tuakli-Wosornu1,2,
  2. Katharina Grimm3,
  3. Jelena G MacLeod4
  1. 1 Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Yale University School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
  2. 2 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
  3. 3 Sports Equity Lab, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
  4. 4 Yale University Child Study Center, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Yetsa A Tuakli-Wosornu, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Yale University School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut, USA; yetsa.tuakli-wosornu{at}

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Optimal healing requires a commitment from all clinicians to be willing to connect with patients in new and vulnerable ways. (Athlete who experienced emotional and sexual abuse as a child1)

Injuries are at the heart of sports medicine (SM), and athletes’ well-being is every SM clinician’s responsibility. Athletes experiencing interpersonal violence (eg, psychological, physical and sexual harassment and abuse, as well as neglect) in sport deserve equal access to the evidence-based care afforded those experiencing accidental sports injuries.1 2 Though many SM practitioners have not been trained in interpersonal violence or, more broadly, trauma and adversity, integrating data-driven trauma-informed clinical practice from other disciplines into global SM settings (here we mean diverse patient-facing clinical settings: outpatient clinics, polyclinics at sports venues, training rooms, pitch and court-side coverage sites, etc, ie, everywhere athletes are cared for, and the diverse group of SM professionals who care for them, from medical students to seasoned team physicians) can contribute to the healing and empowerment of athletes, teammates, families and staff affected by harassment and abuse in sport.3 We use the term ‘trauma and adversity’ in reference to both interpersonal violence and a broader range of societal and contextual factors contributing to toxic stress (eg, parental mental illness, housing insecurity and neighbourhood violence).

How do trauma and adversity fit into SM practice?

Prior injury is a well-documented risk factor for future sports injuries. Correspondingly, athletes exposed to trauma …

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  • Correction notice This article has been corrected since it published Online First. Figure 1 legend has been added.

  • Contributors KG and YAT-W conceived of and designed the initial drafts; all authors contributed equally to further development and approved the final version of the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.