Online Program

Epidemiological Assessment of Sport-Related Middle School Injuries in an Urban County of Kentucky

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 10:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

Shayla Veasley, BS, ATC, Division of Athletic Training, University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences, Lexington, KY
Alex F. Howard, DrPH, ATC, Department of Health Services Management, University of Kentucky College of Public Health, Lexington, KY
Carl G. Mattacola, PhD, ATC, Division of Athletic Training, University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences, Lexington, KY
Background/Purpose.  Participation of youth in organized sport continues to increase, yet very little research has been done regarding interscholastic athletics in middle schools.  This may in part be due to the lack of injury surveillance systems in these settings. Subsequently the need for injury prevention services is relatively unknown.  For that reason, the purpose of this study was to assess and compare the incidence of injuries occurring in interscholastic athletics in middle school and high school settings of an urban county in Kentucky.

Methods. Injury data and athlete exposures were collected from 1 high school and 3 middle schools. Data were specific to football, soccer, volleyball, and cheerleading. Injuries were defined as any physical ailment caused by athletic participation that required medical assessment and/or days missed from athletic activity. Exposures were estimated to represent one athlete participating in one practice or game.  Injury rates were calculated per 1000 exposures.

Results/Outcomes. A total of 129 injuries occurred between both school settings, representing an injury rate of 4.7. The overall injury rate for middle school and high school athletes was 4.9 and 4.6, respectively. Although the rate of injury among middle school athletes was higher, the difference was not statistically significant.  

 Conclusions. The results of this research indicate that the burden of injury in the middle school setting is comparable to the high school setting.  Subsequently, the need for injury prevention and clinical services, such as those provided by an athletic trainer, is likely similar between the two settings.

Learning Areas:

Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Assess injuries occurring in both the middle school and high school settings of an urban county in KY Describe the distribution of injury in these settings according to: sex, sport, and type of activity (practice or competition) Discuss the significance of the sport related injury burden between both school settings

Keyword(s): Violence & Injury Prevention, Adolescents

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a certified athletic trainer and have provided clinical care and injury prevention services to a large number of adolescents participating in organized sport and recreation. Furthermore, for almost two years I have been involved with the active use and evaluation of an injury surveillance system used in the middle school and high school settings in Kentucky.
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.