Injury risk factors and barriers to their mitigation for women playing rugby league: a Delphi study

Scantlebury, S. et al. Injury risk factors and barriers to their mitigation for women playing rugby league: a Delphi study. J Sport Sci 40, 1436–1449 (2022).

Abstract

This study aimed to 1) develop a consensus (≥70% agreement between experts) on injury risk factors specific to women playing rugby league, 2) establish the importance of the identified injury risk factors and the feasibility of mitigating these risk factors and 3) establish context specific barriers to injury risk management. Aim 1: A Delphi panel, consisting of 12 experts in rugby league and injury (e.g., physiotherapists, research scientists) were asked to identify injury risk factors specific to women playing rugby league. Aim 2: seven coaches of women’s rugby league teams were asked to rate each risk factor that achieved consensus by their importance and feasibility to manage. Aim 3: Coaches reported barriers which restrict injury risk factor mitigation. Of the 53 injury risk factors which achieved consensus, the five injury risk factors with the highest combination of importance and feasibility ratings were: “poor tackle technique”, “a lack of pre-season intensity”, “training session are too short”, “the current medical standards”, and “limited access to physiotherapists”. Following the identification of injury risk factors, their feasibility to manage and context specific barriers, this study proposes three constraint driven, integrated solutions which may reduce the barriers which limit injury risk factor management.

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