The Epidemiology and 12-month outcomes of serious sport and active recreation injuries in Victoria, Australia

2017-02-06T05:46:12Z (GMT) by Andrew, Nadine Elizabeth
Serious sport and active recreation injuries requiring hospitalisationare common with between 30-230 adult admissions per 100,000 participants per year, based on national and international data. The long-term consequences of these injuries can range from an inability to return to pre-injury sporting levels to severe disability, requiring long-term treatment and care, or even death. As those injured tend to be young, healthy and active contributors to society the potential long-term societal consequences can be great. Sport and active recreation participation is an important means of promoting population physical activity. Though the public health benefits of physical activity participation are considerable, these benefits could be negated by injury. Despite this, there is little known about the trends and long-term consequences of serious sport and active recreation injuries at a general population level, including their impact on physical activity levels. The first step in effective injury prevention and control is injury surveillance, in the form of incidence and outcome monitoring. This thesis investigated systems used to monitor serious sport and active recreation injuries in Victoria, Australia and identified potential injury surveillance and outcome monitoring systems for this group. Existing injury surveillance systems were used, both alone and in combination with purposefully collected data, to describe the trends in and outcomes of serious sport and active recreation injuries. Results showed that there had been an increase, in the last decade, in both the number of life threatening injuries due to sport and active recreation participation and the risk of sustaining such an injury. Priority areas for injury prevention based on injury risk and trends were identified. Outcome studies contained in this thesis demonstrated that, at 12-months post-injury, the majority of patients hospitalised with sport and active recreation related orthopaedic injuries had not fully recovered and that large mean reductions in physical health had occurred. Priority areas for injury prevention and rehabilitation research were identified based on these results. Results from this thesis also showed that mean physical activity levels in this group were greatly reduced at 12-months post-injury, even in those who reported being fully recovered. This demonstrated the large impact that serious sport and active recreation injuries can have on participants’ physical activity levels. Information gained from this thesis is important for describing the burden of serious sport and active recreation injuries in Victoria, Australia. Priority areas for injury prevention research based on both incidence and outcome data have been identified and many of the broad health consequences associated with serious sport and active recreation injuries have been described. This is the first body of work to quantify the link between sport and active recreation injuries and their impact on physical activity levels. The results of this thesis are an important step towards improving our understanding of the burden of serious sport and active recreation injuries.