Injury profile in women's football: a systematic review and meta-analysis

López-Valenciano, Alejandro, Raya-González, Javier, García-Gómez, Jose A., Aparicio-Sarmiento, Alba, Sainz de Baranda, Pilar, De Ste Croix, Mark B ORCID: 0000-0001-9911-4355 and Ayala, Francisco (2021) Injury profile in women's football: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Sports Medicine, 51 (3). pp. 423-442. doi:10.1007/s40279-020-01401-w

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Background: Football is the most popular sport among women; however, little is known about the injury profile in this population. This information would help design tailored injury risk mitigation strategies that may make football safer for women. Objective: The aim of this study was to perform a systematic review and meta-analysis of epidemiological data of injuries in women´s football. Methods: A systematic review following PRISMA guidelines was performed up to January 2020 in PubMed, Web of Science, Sport discus and the Cochrane Library databases. Twenty-one studies reporting the incidence of injuries in women football were analysed. Two reviewers independently extracted data (intraclass correlation coefficient [ICC] for inter-reviewer reliability = 0.87) and assessed study quality using the STROBE statement, GRADE approach, Newcastle Ottawa Scale and Downs and Black assessment tools. Studies were combined in pooled analyses (injury incidence and injury proportion) using a Poisson random effects regression model. Results: The overall incidence of injuries in female football players was 6.1 injuries/1000 hours of exposure. Match injury incidence (19.2 injuries/1000 hours of exposure) was almost six times higher than training injury incidence rate (3.5 injuries/1000 hours of exposure). Lower extremity injuries had the highest incidence rates (4.8 injuries/1000 hours of exposure). The most common types of injuries were muscle/tendon (1.8 injuries/1000 hours of exposure) and joint (non-bone) and ligament (1.5 injuries/1000 hours of exposure), which were frequently associated with traumatic incidents. Slight/minimal injuries (1–3 days of time loss) were the most common. The incidence rate of injuries during matches in the top 5 world ranking leagues was higher than the rest of the leagues (19.3 vs 10.7 injuries/1000 hours of exposure, respectively). The weighted injury proportion was 1.1 (95% confidence interval = 0.6–1.7) whereby on average players sustained more than one injury per season. Conclusions: Female football players are exposed to a substantial risk of sustaining injuries, especially during matches that require the highest level of performance. In order to markedly reduce overall injury burden, efforts should focus on introducing and evaluating preventative measures that target match specific dynamics in order to make football players more capable of responding to the challenges that they have to deal with during match play.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV557 Sports > GV861 Ball games: Baseball, football, golf, etc.
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Research Priority Areas: Health, Life Sciences, Sport and Wellbeing
Depositing User: Rhiannon Goodland
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2020 14:43
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 09:07

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