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The prevention of musculoskeletal injuries in volleyball: the systematic development of an intervention and its feasibility

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Abstract

Background: A scientific research project has started in the Netherlands with the aim of developing and implementing an evidence-based intervention to prevent the occurrence of musculoskeletal injuries among young and adult recreational volleyball players. This article describes (i) the systematic development of the intervention; and (ii) the assessment of its feasibility in terms of relevancy, suitability and usability. Systematic development of the intervention: The development of the intervention was based on the Intervention Mapping structured and systematic process. First, the needs assessment conducted among the main actors within recreational volleyball revealed that an intervention was needed for injury prevention, ideally embedded prior to a volleyball activity (training or match) within the warm-up, delivered by trainers/coaches, and available in an application for smartphone/tablet or website. Second, the objective and target groups of the intervention were defined, namely to prevent or reduce the occurrence of finger/wrist, shoulder, knee and ankle injuries among both young and adult recreational volleyball players. Third, preventive measures and strategies (e.g. core stability, strength and balance) were selected in order to accomplish a decrease in injury incidence. Last, the intervention ‘VolleyVeilig’ was finally developed, a warm-up programme including more than 50 distinct exercises and lasting 15 min. Feasibility of the intervention: A quasi-experimental research based on a one-group post-test design was conducted over a period of 3 weeks among 41 volleyball players and five coaches from five adult recreational teams, who were asked to use the intervention. Degree of relevancy, suitability and usability of the warm-up programme ‘VolleyVeilig’ were measured among players and coaches on an 11-point scale (varying from ‘completely disagree’ to ‘completely agree’). All groups of exercises within the warm-up programme were positively assessed with regard to their relevancy, suitability and usability, mean scores ranging from 7.7 to 8.3. Group interviews revealed especially that the warm-up programme in its current form was not suitable as a pre-match warm-up. Conclusion: The warm-up programme ‘VolleyVeilig’ developed in order to prevent or reduce the occurrence of musculoskeletal injuries in recreational volleyball was positively assessed by volleyball players and coaches with regard to its relevancy, suitability and usability. Before its nationwide implementation, the effectiveness of the intervention on injury reduction among volleyball players should be conducted.

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Gouttebarge, V., van Sluis, M., Verhagen, E., & Zwerver, J. (2017). The prevention of musculoskeletal injuries in volleyball: the systematic development of an intervention and its feasibility. Injury Epidemiology, 4(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40621-017-0122-y

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