TitleInjury-Related Athletic Training Services And Physician Encounters In Collegiate Student-Athletes
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsSoucy, M, Bovbjerg, VE, Fredericson, M, Simon, JE, Brown, CN
JournalMedicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
Pagination206 - 206
Date Published08/2021

Describing student-athlete healthcare utilization for acute versus overuse injuries, stratified by time-loss (TL) and non-time-loss (NTL), may better capture sports medicine clinician workload to inform staffing across teams.

PURPOSE: To describe the frequencies of athletic training services (ATS) and physician encounters (PE) resulting from musculoskeletal injuries across a range of Division I athletic teams.

METHODS: This descriptive epidemiological study utilized de-identified electronic medical records from all sponsoring institutions in a single NCAA Division I conference. These included men’s and women’s basketball, cross country, golf, gymnastics, rowing, swimming/diving, soccer, tennis, track and field, water polo, volleyball/beach volleyball, men’s baseball, football, wrestling, and women’s field hockey, lacrosse, and softball. Musculoskeletal injury occurrences were collected from August 2018-March 2020, representing 476 team-seasons (204 men’s and 272 women’s). Injury mechanism (acute or overuse) was identified and stratified by time-lost (TL or NTL), and categorized by team. Frequencies and means for ATS and PE per team per season and per player per season were calculated.

RESULTS: A total of 12,534 injuries resulted in 171,946 ATS and 5,188 PE. Men’s overuse injuries represented 10.0% (n = 17,197) of ATS and 12.2% (n = 632) of PE; women’s represented 21.0% (n = 36,113) of ATS and 16.9% (n = 877) of PE. Acute-NTL accounted for 8.6% (n = 14,712) and 7.7% (n = 13,310) of ATS and 17.0% (n = 884) and 7.3% (n = 379) of PE in men and women, respectively. Mean ATS and PE per team per season and per player per season demonstrated variation in healthcare utilization by team and injury classification.

CONCLUSION: Documenting treatment burden across different injury classifications more comprehensively describes clinician workload by team assignment and provides evidence to support appropriate healthcare staffing. Future research should focus on specific types of services utilized by teams in each injury classification.

This project was supported by the Pac-12 Conference’s Student-Athlete Health and Well-Being Initiative. The content of this abstract is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Pac-12 Conference, or its members.