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Journal of Sports Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 523974, 9 pages
Research Article

The Injury/Illness Performance Project (IIPP): A Novel Epidemiological Approach for Recording the Consequences of Sports Injuries and Illnesses

1University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
2F-MARC, Zurich, Switzerland
3English Institute of Sport, Bath, UK
4UK Sport, London, UK

Received 25 June 2013; Accepted 27 September 2013

Academic Editor: S. John Sullivan

Copyright © 2013 Debbie Palmer-Green et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Describing the frequency, severity, and causes of sports injuries and illnesses reliably is important for quantifying the risk to athletes and providing direction for prevention initiatives. Methods. Time-loss and/or medical-attention definitions have long been used in sports injury/illness epidemiology research, but the limitations to these definitions mean that some events are incorrectly classified or omitted completely, where athletes continue to train and compete at high levels but experience restrictions in their performance. Introducing a graded definition of performance-restriction may provide a solution to this issue. Results. Results from the Great Britain injury/illness performance project (IIPP) are presented using a performance-restriction adaptation of the accepted surveillance consensus methodologies. The IIPP involved 322 Olympic athletes (males: 172; female: 150) from 10 Great Britain Olympic sports between September 2009 and August 2012. Of all injuries ( ), 216 were classified as causing time-loss, 346 as causing performance-restriction, and 3 were unclassified. For athlete illnesses ( ), the majority ( ) resulted in time-loss (270) compared with performance-restriction (101) (7 unclassified). Conclusions. Successful implementation of prevention strategies relies on the correct characterisation of injury/illness risk factors. Including a performance-restriction classification could provide a deeper understanding of injuries/illnesses and better informed prevention initiatives.