Semi-Professional Rugby League Players have Higher Concussion Risk than Professional or Amateur Participants: A Pooled Analysis
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A combined estimate of injuries within a specific sport through pooled analysis provides more precise evidence and meaningful information about the sport, whilst controlling for between-study variation due to individual sub-cohort characteristics. The objective of this analysis was to review all published rugby league studies reporting injuries from match and training participation and report the pooled data estimates for rugby league concussion injury epidemiology. A systematic literature analysis of concussion in rugby league was performed on published studies from January 1990 to October 2015. Data were extracted and pooled from 25 studies that reported the number and incidence of concussions in rugby league match and training activities. Amateur rugby league players had the highest incidence of concussive injuries in match activities (19.1 per 1000 match hours) while semi-professional players had the highest incidence of concussive injuries in training activities (3.1 per 1000 training hours). This pooled analysis showed that, during match participation activities, amateur rugby league participants had a higher reported concussion injury rate than professional and semi-professional participants. Semi-professional participants had nearly a threefold greater concussion injury risk than amateur rugby league participants during match participation. They also had nearly a 600-fold greater concussion injury risk than professional rugby league participants during training participation.
KeywordsPool Analysis Training Activity Injury Incidence Participation Level Rugby League
Compliance with Ethical Standards
No sources of funding were used to assist in the preparation of this article.
Conflicts of interest
Doug King, Patria Hume, Conor Gissane and Trevor Clark declare that they have no conflicts of interest relevant to the content of this review.
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