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Why a dearth of sports and exercise medicine/physiotherapy research using hospital electronic medical records? A success story and template for researchers
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  • Published on:
    • Caroline F Finch, Research Professor and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Edith Cowan University
    • Other Contributors:
      • Lauren Fortington, Senior Research Fellow

    The recent item by Machado et al(1) is a good reminder of the existence of hospital electronic medical records and their value for sports medicine research and practice. However, the authors’ claim that there have been very few studies that have used such data in relation to sports injuries is incorrect. The authors cite only two studies (from 1984 and 1994), despite a large international body of published work addressing hospital-treated sports injury.

    The first national reporting of sports injury patterns in Australia was based on an analysis of emergency department records published in 1998.(2) The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, a national Australian health authority, has published reports on sports injury hospitalisations for over a decade, the most recent being in 2020.(3, 4) Our sports injury research team has also long demonstrated the value of routine hospital data collections to inform public policy and debate about sports injury prevention.(5) As an example, after demonstrating the excess health burden of hospital treated sports injuries, relative to that of road trauma,(6) the Victorian State Government established a taskforce especially to address injury prevention and targeting of sports medicine provision in community sport.(7)

    Our research team has published several studies addressing the number, nature and burden of sports injury over many years using routinely collected hospital data, including:
    • Analysis of hospita...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.