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Epidemiology of High School Sports-related Injuries: A descriptive epidemiological study of a single high school during the 2021-2022 academic year

Schultz, Scout and Lovalekar, Mita T and Murray, Mary E and Allison, Katelyn Fleishman and Varnell, Michelle (2023) Epidemiology of High School Sports-related Injuries: A descriptive epidemiological study of a single high school during the 2021-2022 academic year. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Millions of high school students participate in school-sanctioned athletic events each year in the United States. Participation in athletics comes with inherent adverse consequences including sports-related injury. Current epidemiological studies aim to describe the pattern of injuries between several demographic groups to enhance clinical knowledge, develop injury risk profiles, and employ prevention strategies. Purpose: The purpose of this descriptive epidemiological study was to describe patterns and incidence of anatomic location, injury type, mechanism and onset of injury, injury timing, and sport-specific injury patterns in a group of high school athletes at a private high school. The secondary and tertiary aims of this study were to compare incidence and patterns of injuries between sexes and compare incidence and patterns of injuries between single sport and interscholastic multi-sport athletes. Methods: The current study employed a descriptive epidemiological study design. Data from SOAP (subjective, objective, assessment, plan) notes were extracted and analyzed with the goal of establishing relationships between various demographic variables and incidence of sports-related injuries within a population of adolescent female and male athletes at a private high school during a single academic year. Results: The key findings of this study included a higher injury incidence for boys than girls, a higher overall incidence of acute injuries compared to chronic injuries, a higher overall incidence of non-contact injuries, and a higher incidence of injuries in football, basketball, and soccer. Furthermore, the most common injury location was the lower extremity, sprains were the most common injury. Overall, and injuries were sustained most often during practice. The percentage of interscholastic multisport (ISMA) athletes who sustained an injury (39/115 = 33.9%) was lower than the percentage of single-sport athletes who sustained an injury (40/66 = 60.6%). This difference was significant (p < 0.001). Conclusion: Adolescent participation in athletics is accompanied by inherent, often unmodifiable, risks of injury. Despite the potential negative consequences, participation in athletics provides youth with several physical, cognitive, and social benefits. Preservation of the positive impacts of sports participation may encourage continued engagement and minimize the physical and financial burden associated with sports-related injuries.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Lovalekar, Mita
Murray, Mary
Allison, Katelyn
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis AdvisorLovalekar,
Committee ChairMurray, Mary
Committee ChairAllison,
Committee ChairVarnell,
Date: 6 June 2023
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 14 March 2023
Approval Date: 6 June 2023
Submission Date: 17 April 2023
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 93
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences > Sports Medicine and Nutrition
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: N/A
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2023 13:54
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2023 13:54


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