The prevention of lower extremity physical activity injuries; a school-based randomised controlled trial in children aged 10-12 years
10 / 2005 - 10 / 2008
ZonMw; Website EMGO
In children physical activity injuries are a major health problem. Physical activity injuries in children are associated with prolonged periods of impairment of everyday activity and life. In order to reduce the short- and long-term effects of physical activity injuries in terms of their social and economic consequences, prevention of these injuries in children is important. The aim of the proposed randomised controlled trial is to evaluate an intervention programme to be used in physical education (PE) classes of primary schools, aimed at reducing acute lower extremity injuries due to sports and physical activities in pupils aged 10-12 years. The intervention programme has been developed according to the intervention mapping protocol, and is designed to reduce injuries sustained during PE, as well as during organised and non-organised sports and physical activities. The effectiveness of the prevention programme will be evaluated in a randomised controlled trial. The study will be carried out during one school year in primary schools, reaching boys and girls aged 10-12 years. With the current focus on a physically active lifestyle, an increasing number of physical activity (PA) injuries can be expected (Parkkari et al. 2001). In recent years, more and more children are undertaking intensive training at younger ages or participate in multiple sports, hereby exposing themselves to higher risk of injuries. The aim of the study is to evaluate the effectiveness of an intervention programme to be used in PE classes of secondary schools, aimed at reducing lower extremity injuries due to physical activities and sports in school children aged 10-12 years. The primary research questions addressed in this study are: (1) What is the effect of an intervention strategy aimed at the prevention of lower extremity PA injuries in school children 10-12 years of age on lower extremity injury incidence?; and (2) What is the cost-effectiveness of an intervention strategy aimed at the prevention of lower extremity PA injuries in school children 10-12 years of age?. RELEVANCE ZONMW PROGRAMME 'PREVENTIE': The proposed study focuses on the primary prevention of musculoskeletal PA injuries in youth, and is therefore highly relevant for the ZonMW programme 'Preventie'. Injuries to the musculoskeletal system cause a high demand on our healthcare system in terms of medical costs and lost days of work and/or school. At present, health behavioural interventions are widely used in the prevention of musculoskeletal health problems. It is important to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of these interventions, as well as to facilitate a broad implementation. The planned trial assesses the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of an intervention programme that has been created using the intervention mapping (IM) method. Thereby, the likelihood of developing a feasible intervention programme, which is likely to be widely accepted, is high by applying this method. INTERVENTION: In Phase I of this project, the intervention was developed according to the Intervention Mapping (IM) protocol. This method is currently being applied in several of the projects within our institute, e.g. project DO iT (a study on the effectiveness of an intervention aimed at stimulating physical activity and healthy diet for the prevention of overweight among adolescents). For the DO iT project we collaborated with IM experts form Maastricht University.