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Compliance with a comprehensive warm-up programme to prevent injuries in youth football
  1. Torbjørn Soligard1,
  2. Agnethe Nilstad1,
  3. Kathrin Steffen1,
  4. Grethe Myklebust1,
  5. Ingar Holme1,
  6. Jiri Dvorak2,
  7. Roald Bahr1,
  8. Thor Einar Andersen1
  1. 1Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center,Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo, Norway
  2. 2FIFA Medical Assessment and Research Centre, Schulthess Clinic, Zürich, Switzerland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Torbjørn Soligard, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center, PO Box 4014, Ullevaal Stadion, 0806 Oslo, Norway; torbjorn.soligard{at}


Background Participants' compliance, attitudes and beliefs have the potential to influence the efficacy of an intervention greatly.

Objective To characterise team and player compliance with a comprehensive injury prevention warm-up programme for football (The 11+), and to assess attitudes towards injury prevention among coaches and their association with compliance and injury risk.

Study Design A prospective cohort study and retrospective survey based on a cluster-randomised controlled trial with teams as the unit of randomisation.

Methods Compliance, exposure and injuries were registered prospectively in 65 of 125 football teams (1055 of 1892 female Norwegian players aged 13–17 years and 65 of 125 coaches) throughout one football season (March–October 2007). Standardised telephone interviews were conducted to assess coaches' attitudes towards injury prevention.

Results Teams completed the injury prevention programme in 77% (mean 1.3 sessions per week) of all training and match sessions, and players in 79% (mean 0.8 sessions per week) of the sessions they attended. Compared with players with intermediate compliance, players with high compliance with the programme had a 35% lower risk of all injuries (RR 0.65, 95% CI 0.46 to 0.91, p=0.011). Coaches who had previously utilised injury prevention training coached teams with a 46% lower risk of injury (OR 0.54, 95% CI 0.33 to 0.87, p=0.011).

Conclusions Compliance with the injury prevention programme was high, and players with high compliance had significantly lower injury risk than players with intermediate compliance. Positive attitudes towards injury prevention correlated with high compliance and lower injury risk.

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  • Funding This study was supported by grants from the FIFA Medical Assessment and Research Centre. The Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center has been established at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences through generous grants from the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Culture and Church Affairs, the South-Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority, the Norwegian Olympic Committee and Confederation of Sport and Norsk Tipping AS.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the Regional Committee for Medical Research Ethics, South-Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority, Norway.

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