Objectives The aim of our study was to explore the contextual factors that affect the implementation of football injury prevention initiatives and the provision of effective injury management in the Irish Women’s National League (WNL).
Methods We used a criterion-based purposive sampling approach to recruit coaches (n=7), players (n=17) and medical personnel (n=8) representing eight of the nine clubs in the WNL to participate in one-to-one semistructured interviews. Our study was located within an interpretivist, constructivist research paradigm. The interview data were analysed using reflexive thematic analysis.
Results The participants identified academic and work pressures, financial challenges, conflict with college football, inadequate facilities and gender inequity as being barriers to the implementation of injury prevention initiatives and the provision of effective injury management. Financial constraints within clubs were perceived to limit the provision of medical care and strength and conditioning (S&C) support and this was deemed to be associated with a heightened risk of injuries.
Conclusion Specific contextual factors were identified which curtail the implementation of injury prevention initiatives and the provision of effective injury management in elite-level women’s club football in Ireland. Gender inequity was identified as one of the factors impacting the availability of high-quality medical care, S&C support, as well as access to training and match facilities. Our results provide new insights that could be used to inform the design and implementation of injury prevention and management initiatives for women football players in Ireland.
- Sports medicine
- Wounds and Injuries
Data availability statement
All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.
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Contributors DH, SK, ED and MR developed the reasoning for this paper and designed the semistructured interview format. DH undertook all the interview and was the main coder. SK, ED, MR, CB and MH contributed intellectually and provided feedback on various drafts. DH and ED are co-guarantors of the manuscript.
Funding DH is the recipient of an Irish Research Council Enterprise Partnership Scheme (Postgraduate) award (EPSPG/2019/543). This scheme provides funding for PhD students to undertake research with a specified enterprise partner; in this instance, the enterprise partner is the Football Association of Ireland. The Irish Research Council and the Football Association of Ireland were not involved in any aspect of this study, such as the design of the study's protocol and analysis plan.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting or dissemination plans of this research.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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