Infrastructure for scientific research in the Maastricht University Center for Sports, Physical activity and Health
12 / 2005 - unknown
On a national level it has been recognised that there exists a lack in scientific research in the field of sports medicine. In the policy doument 'Sport, Bewegen en Gezondheid' the Dutch government commissioned ZON-MW to enhance the infrastructure of scientific research and to develop a research program in this area. Since many years large expertise of health issues in relationship to sports and physical actity is available in Maastricht, although no well coordinated collaboration existed. Recently, a cooperative effort between the University Hospital Maastricht (AZM), the Faculty of Medicine (FdG) and the Faculty of Health Sciences (FdGW) both at Maastricht University, and the Sports Medicine Center Maastricht (SMA Maastricht) lead to the development of the Maastricht University Center for Sports, Physical activity and Health. In 2001 the report of the Raad voor Gezondheidsonderzoek (RGO) provided a report on the scientific research in sports medicine. It was concluded that scientific research in the area of sports medicine was too fragmented, without well structered coordination and was, in general, of too fundamental origine that hindered implementation in patient care. RGO recommended to concentrate research in a small number of centers with appropiate staff, to install a national consultive forum, to establish a sports health research programm, and appropriate coordination and collaboration between research centers. The Dutch government released the policy document 'Sport, Bewegen en Gezondheid' that promotes an active lifestyle for health promotion and with respect to sports health research to execute the recommendations of RGO. In 2003 the Dutch government commissioned ZON-MW to enhance the infrastructure of scientific research and to develop a research programm in this area. Three major topics of research were defined: The objective of the Maastricht University Center for Sports, Physical activity and Health is to develop a multidisciplinary expert center on the relationship between health and sports/physical activity, that is involved in patient care, scientific research and knowledge transfer. The goals of the scientific research of the Center are to gain more knowledge on specified topics in the field of sports, physical activity and health, and to make this new information available for students, health care professionals and society. The research priorities of the Center are twofold. First, the prevention and (adjuvant) treatment of (chronic) disease conditions by means of sport and physical activity. And second, health problems due to participation in sports and exercise, with special interest in disturbance of balance between work load and physical capacity as well as the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of sports injuries and other sports related health problems. Infrastructure: The Maastricht University Center for Sports, Physical activity and Health is created in close collaboration between SMA Maastricht, FdG, FdGW and AZM. This center aims to develop the trias academica on the relationship between health and sports / physical activity in full proportion. It will consist of a department of clinical sports medicine and a research department that both will participate in edutation and knowledge transfer. For the further development of scientific research a permanent staff will be available that needs to be extended to meet the objectives and tasks set. The strategy to meet the objectives set will be clarified in the time table that follows. A senior-researcher will be employed and will be responsible for achieving the scientific and educational objectives of the Maastricht University Center for Sports, Physical activity and Health. He/she will work in close cooperation with the other research staff members, and with the sports physicians who are responsible for patient care and also for knowlegde transfer.