Sports Medicine

, Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 49–65 | Cite as

Sports Injury Surveillance Systems: A Review of Methods and Data Quality

  • Christina L. Ekegren
  • Belinda J. Gabbe
  • Caroline F. Finch
Systematic Review


Background and Aims

Data from sports injury surveillance systems are a prerequisite to the development and evaluation of injury prevention strategies. This review aimed to identify ongoing sports injury surveillance systems and determine whether there are gaps in our understanding of injuries in certain sport settings. A secondary aim was to determine which of the included surveillance systems have evaluated the quality of their data, a key factor in determining their usefulness.


A systematic search was carried out to identify (1) publications presenting methodological details of sports injury surveillance systems within clubs and organisations; and (2) publications describing quality evaluations and the quality of data from these systems. Data extracted included methodological details of the surveillance systems, methods used to evaluate data quality, and results of these evaluations.


Following literature search and review, a total of 15 sports injury surveillance systems were identified. Data relevant to each aim were summarised descriptively. Most systems were found to exist within professional and elite sports. Publications concerning data quality were identified for seven (47 %) systems. Validation of system data through comparison with alternate sources has been undertaken for only four systems (27 %).


This review identified a shortage of ongoing injury surveillance data from amateur and community sport settings and limited information about the quality of data in professional and elite settings. More surveillance systems are needed across a range of sport settings, as are standards for data quality reporting. These efforts will enable better monitoring of sports injury trends and the development of sports safety strategies.


Sport Injury Athletic Trainer National Football League National Collegiate Athletic Association Injury Surveillance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Compliance with Ethical Standards


Christina Ekegren was supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Public Health postgraduate scholarship (1055445) and, prior to 2013, was supported by a departmental scholarship funded through an NHMRC Partnership Project Grant (565907). Belinda Gabbe was supported by an NHMRC Career Development Fellowship (1048731). Caroline Finch was supported through an NHMRC Principal Research Fellowship (1058737).

Conflicts of interest

Christina Ekegren, Belinda Gabbe and Caroline Finch declare that they have no conflicts of interest relevant to the content of this review.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology and Preventive MedicineMonash University, Alfred CentreMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Australian Centre for Research into Injury in Sport and its PreventionFederation University AustraliaBallaratAustralia

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