274369 Athletic Trainers, a First Line of Defense for High School Injury Prevention among Girls' Soccer and Basketball Players (2006/07-2008/09)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 : 1:10 PM - 1:30 PM

Jill Corlette, MS, ATC , Center for Injury Research and Policy, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH
Cynthia LaBella, MD , Institute for Sports Medicine, Children's Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL
Christy Collins , Center for Injury Research and Policy, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH
Natalie Henke , Center for Injury Research and Policy, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH
R. Dawn Comstock, PhD , Colorado School of Public Health, Aurora, CO
Background: Sports injuries impose physical, emotional, and economic burdens on United States (US) high school athletes and their families. Certified athletic trainers (AT) are clinicians trained in both preventing and treating/managing sports injuries. Athletes in less than 50% of US high schools have access to the services of an AT.

Methods: Data from two surveillance systems which captured sports injury data from girls' soccer and basketball during 2006/07-2008/09 -- High School RIOTM (HSRIO), a national sample of schools with ATs and Sports Injury Surveillance System (SISS), a sample of Chicago public high schools without ATs -- were compared to evaluate the impact of ATs.

Results: Injury rates were higher in SISS schools than HSRIO schools in soccer (RR: 1.73, 95% CI: 1.51-2.00) and basketball (RR: 1.22, 95% CI: 1.03-1.45). Injury patterns were similar overall, but rates of recurrent injury were higher in SISS schools than HSRIO schools in soccer (RR: 5.85, 95% CI: 4.39-7.78) and basketball (RR: 2.97, 95% CI 2.12-4.14). Concussion rates were higher in HSRIO schools than SISS schools in soccer (RR: 8.05, 95% CI: 2.00-32.51) and basketball (RR: 4.50, 95% CI: 1.43-14.16).

Conclusions: Athletic trainers safeguard high school athletes' health through prevention efforts resulting in lower injury rates and treatment/management efforts resulting in lower recurrent injury rates. Additionally, concussed athletes are more likely to be diagnosed in schools with ATs and thus less likely to return to play prematurely. If confirmed in a larger sample, these findings should drive increased AT coverage of high school athletes.

Learning Areas:
Basic medical science applied in public health
Epidemiology
Other professions or practice related to public health
Program planning
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Evaluate the importance of having an athletic trainer (AT) presence at US high schools. 2. Identify the difference in injury rates and patterns among US girl's high school soccer and basketball athletes in schools with and without ATs. 3. Explain the importance from a policy standpoint of being able to identify and describe differences in injury rates and patterns in schools with and without ATs. 4. Evaluate the short and long term potential effect of high school sports injuries on an individualís health and wellness.

Keywords: Adolescents, Injuries

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Research Associate with Dr. Dawn Comstock, the Principal Investigator on this project collecting the High School RIO data. I am involved daily with the data collection platform, perform analysis and reporting of the study results.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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