Learning from Injury Prevention Researchers

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The August 2011 issue of Injury Prevention (sister journal to the BJSM ) included an editorial from me with my views on an apparent unfortunate divide between sports medicine and injury prevention researchers.   The two groups rarely meet at the same conferences or read the same journals and so there is somewhat of a lack of knowledge about relevant research across the two sectors. I have vowed to help reduce this gap by establishing cross-journal Blog posts to directly alert readers of one journal about relevant research in the other, and vice versa.  Of course, my hope is that this will not be necessary in the long-term and that cross-fertilisation of ideas becomes the norm.

In this first IP to BJSM  cross-Blog, I’d like to alert injury researchers to several papers describing methodological issues of relevance, also published in the August IP issue.

One paper by Lawrence discusses the use of the controlled vocabularies of the commonly-used literature search engines PubMed/MEDLINE and PsycINFO for finding articles on injury prevention and safety promotion.  It highlights specific indexing problems that could impact on the quality of literature search strategies that rely solely on those methods to identify papers to include in reviews.

Another paper by Khan et al focuses on the statistical issue of how to best model injury count data, when there are excess zeroes. This is a common occurrence in injury studies where most people sustain no injuries, many only one or two injuries and fewer people sustain more injuries.  Such data should not be analysed by traditional Poisson counts and more appropriate statistical modelling applied instead.

Finally, Cryer et al present a new theoretical definition of injury death, which should overcome the short falls of current surveillance systems which are known to under-enumerate injury deaths.  Even though deaths in sport are rare compared to those in other settings, these new definitions are relevant to anyone who uses routine mortality data to monitor injuries.

Caroline Finch is an injury prevention researcher specialising in implementation and dissemination science applications for sports injury prevention.  She is the Senior Associate Editor for Implementation & Dissemination for the British Journal of Sports Medicine and a member of the Editorial Board of Injury Prevention; both journals are published by the BMJ Group.  Caroline can be followed on Twitter @CarolineFinch

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