The facilitators and barriers to implementing injury surveillance systems alongside injury prevention programs

C Ekegren, A Donaldson, B Gabbe, David Lloyd, J Cook, C Finch

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Introduction: Developing successful injury prevention strategies requires good quality epidemiological data. Systematic collection of injury data is lacking in community sport; hence there is a need to establish standardised injury surveillance systems. There are substantial contextual barriers to conducting injury surveillance in community sport, including limited staff and resources. By understanding these barriers, appropriate implementation strategies can be developed to increase uptake of injury surveillance systems. This study aimed to (i) evaluate the use of an injury surveillance system following delivery of an implementation strategy; and (ii) investigate factors influencing the implementation of the system in community sports clubs.

Methods: Seventy-eight clubs were targeted for implementation of an online injury surveillance system (approximately 4000 athletes) in five community Australian football leagues concurrently enrolled in a larger injury prevention project (National Guidance for Australian Football Partnerships and Safety (NoGAPS)). System implementation was evaluated quantitatively, using the RE-AIM framework, and qualitatively via semi-structured interviews with targeted-users (mainly sports trainers).

Results: Across the 78 clubs, there was 69% reach (informed about/trained in use of injury surveillance system), 44% adoption (set up an online account with intention of recording injuries), 23% implementation (used system to record injuries throughout season) and 9% maintenance (used system over two consecutive seasons). Reach and adoption were highest in those leagues receiving concurrent support for the delivery of the NoGAPS injury prevention training program (FootyFirst). Interviewees identified several barriers and facilitators to implementation including personal (e.g. belief in the importance of injury surveillance), socio-contextual (e.g. understaffing and athlete underreporting) and systems factors (e.g. the time taken to upload injury data into the online surveillance system).

Discussion: The injury surveillance system was implemented and maintained by only a small proportion of clubs. Outcomes were best in those leagues receiving concurrent support for the delivery of FootyFirst, suggesting that engagement with club personnel and organisations at all levels can enhance use of injury surveillance systems in community sport. Interview findings suggest that increased implementation could also be achieved by educating club personnel on the importance of recording injuries, asking leagues to create clearer injury surveillance guidelines, increasing club staffing, better remunerating those who conduct surveillance and offering flexible surveillance systems in a range of accessible formats. By increasing the use of surveillance systems, data will better reflect the target population and increase our understanding of the injury problem in community sport.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventBe Active Sports Medicine Australia National Conference 2014 - Canberra, Australia
Duration: 15 Oct 201418 Oct 2014


ConferenceBe Active Sports Medicine Australia National Conference 2014

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