Much work remains to reach consensus on musculoskeletal injury risk in military service members: a systematic review with meta-analysis: European Journal of Sport Science

Daniel I. Rhon, Joseph M. Molloy, Andreas Monnier, Ben R. Hando, Phillip M. Newman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Musculoskeletal injuries are the most common reason military service members cannot perform their military duties. Not only are they costly and associated with long-term disability, often long after completion of military service, but injuries also adversely affect the military readiness of a nation. This can be seen as a threat to national security and part of the impetus behind many efforts to better understand, predict, and mitigate injury risk in the military. A systematic review of literature published between 1995 and October 31, 2020 was conducted to identify significant risk factors of musculoskeletal injury in military populations across the world. 74 out of 170 eligible studies addressed comprehensive injuries, providing 994 unique risk factors. 46 of these studies provided data that could be included in a meta-analysis, which was possible for 15 predictor variables. Seven predictors were significant in meta-analysis: female sex(RR=1.46;95CI 1.30,1.64), high body mass index(RR=1.36;95CI 1.21,1.53), functional movement screen pain (RR=1.70;95CI 1.55,1.87) or scores ≤ 14(RR=1.42 95CI 1.29,1.56), prior injury(RR=1.54;95CI 1.32,1.80), slower running performance(RR=1.33;95CI 1.18,1.51), and poorer push-up performance(RR=1.15;95CI 1.04,1.27). Low BMI, height, weight, smoking, physical activity scores, and sit-up and jump performance were not significant risk factors in the meta-analysis. Most studies had a high risk of bias. Lack of raw data and large heterogeneity in definitions of predictors and injury outcomes limited comparison across many studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-80
Number of pages80
JournalEuropean Journal of Sport Science
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - May 2021

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