A PEEK BEHIND THE STUDY … WITH DALONI LUCAS

Lucas D, Stokes K, McGuigan P Horse Racing Video Analysis Consensus Steering Group, et al. Consensus on a jockey’s injury prevention framework for video analysis: a modified Delphi study. 

 

The full article can be found here

 

Tell us more about yourself and the author team.

I am a practicing physiotherapist and have been working in horse racing for the past 12 years, much of this has been at the Injured Jockeys Fund’s rehabilitation center Oaksey House in Lambourn, Berkshire. Here I have witnessed firsthand the high incidence of acute and chronic injuries sustained by jockeys and the horse racing industry workforce. Thankfully, the vast majority of injuries resolve, and individuals return to competitive racing or work. Unfortunately, however, there are jockeys whose lives, and careers are devastated as a result of their injuries. These are the people and cases that stick with you and leave you wondering if there is more you could have done to improve their outcome. Retrospectively this is difficult particularly when any damage sustained is irreversible. So, when the opportunity arose to complete a Ph.D. focused on the analysis and prevention of spinal injuries in horse racing, I jumped at the chance to try and make a difference, somehow.

My supervisors and co-authors Dr. Dario Cazzola, Professor Keith Stokes, and Dr. Polly McGuigan have extensive experience in epidemiology, biomechanics, and injury prevention. We are all members of the Centre for Health, and Injury & Illness Prevention in Sport (CHi2PS) based at the University of Bath where the focus is on finding ways to reduce injuries in sports. This is achieved through injury surveillance and risk factor identification, the development and evaluation of injury prevention strategies, and the implementation of injury prevention in the ‘real world’.

Dr. Jerry Hill MBE is the chief medical advisor at the British Horseracing Authority. He is currently involved in several significant projects around jockey education, safety, and well-being, particularly in areas such as nutrition, mental health, and concussion management.

Finally, the industry steering committee was integral to this study. The committee consisted of representatives from within the British horse racing industry’s stakeholders, whose focus is on the care and well-being of professional jockeys and the industry workforce.

 

What is the story behind your study?

The overall aim of my Ph.D. is to identify the mechanisms and characteristics of spinal injury in horse racing and use this knowledge to inform the design of interventions to minimize spinal injury occurrence.

In order to investigate injury mechanisms and establish the etiology of spinal injuries sustained in horse racing, we required a framework that would ensure a standardized and systematic approach to our planned video analysis. Given the dearth of video analysis-related research in horse racing, we set about to establish the video analysis framework for our own use but also in the hope that we would stimulate and facilitate the use of video analysis for the purposes of injury prevention in horse racing which we consider to be an immensely underutilized resource.

 

In your own words, what did you find?

After four Delphi rounds, we were able to compile a jockey’s injury prevention video analysis framework of 73 horse racing-specific descriptors and 268 associated definitions.

 

What was the main challenge you faced in your study?

As the study was conducted during the Covid-19 pandemic we were unable to meet in person with the industry steering committee members. We, therefore, met via teleconference, the challenge we then faced was trying to assemble a large group of people at a convenient date/time, etc. to maximize participation in each Delphi round.

 

If there is one take-home message from your study, what would that be?

The clearly defined descriptors and definitions outlined in our framework provide a starting point for the future use of video analysis in horse racing. Which variables are used will be dependent on the area of practice or study objectives.

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