Table 2

Summary of soccer studies including design, intervention, and results

First authorStudy designQuality ratingStudy aimStudy settingStudy participants/targetsIntervention typePrimary outcome measureConclusion
EkstandRCTPoor (2/5)Test a multicomponent prophylactic training programme delivered by (1) trainers and physiotherapists and (2) coachesCommunity soccer league180 male players aged 17–36 years participating in 12 teams from a Swedish community soccer league; 15 best players per team selectedEducation: special warm up/cool down training; information to coaches and players; correction and supervision of training. Environmental: leg guards, ankle tapingInjury incidence & absence from games and practicesAfter a six-month follow up, there were 75% fewer injuries in the intervention teams. There were also lower levels of ankle, knee strains, sprains, operations, and absence from games among the intervention teams. Additional follow up that did not adhere to the randomisation showed a lesser degree of injury reduction when coaches delivered the intervention
CaraffaNon-equivalent control groupModerate (10/14)Assess the ability of a proprioceptive training programme to reduce the incidence of ACL injuriesCommunity sport club/40 semi-professional and amateur teams40 teams of male professional and amateur soccer players in Italy (age not reported)Education: pre-season, 5-phase training programme of increasing difficulty. At least 20 min a day for a min. of 30 daysIncidence of ACL injuriesThe frequency of ACL injuries in the proprioceptive-trained group showed a sevenfold reduction over the control group
EliasTime seriesModerate (8/15)Assess the effects of emergency preventive measures to prevent heat exhaustionSummer youth soccer tournament4000 male and female players aged 9–19 years exposed to preventive measures at tournamentRegulatory: game modifications: shorter game times, longer breaks, unlimited substitutions. Environmental: spraying players with waterIncidence of heat exhaustionRate of heat exhaustion per 1000 player hours decreased after implementation of emergency measures
LehnhardTime seriesModerate (7/14)Determine whether strength training had an effect on the incidence of injuriesCollege soccer teamA team of college level male soccer players in the United States (age not reported)Education: twice weekly strength training sessions during the non-season and the preseasonIncidence of injuries (team injury rates)Reduction in team injury rates