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How has workload been defined and how many workload-related exposures to injury are included in published sports injury articles? A scoping review

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OBJECTIVE: To describe how workload-related exposure variables have been defined in sports injury articles, and to identify the number of workload-related exposure variables included in comparative analyses. U DESIGN: Scoping review. U LITERATURE SEARCH: PubMed, SPORTDiscus, and Scopus were systematically searched on March 13, 2020. Two reviewers independently screened the retrieved literature and selected articles for inclusion. U STUDY SELECTION CRITERIA: Prospective cohort studies using workload-related variables as the primary exposure to sports injury were eligible for inclusion. U DATA SYNTHESIS: The type (eg, distance, balls bowled) and construct of workload-related exposure variables (eg, acute-chronic workload ratio) were extracted and summarized in frequency tables. U RESULTS: A total of 648 articles were identified, and 45 were eligible for inclusion. Workload definition differed greatly, as sports- and workload-related exposure variables could be, but were not limited to, distance, balls bowled, session rating of perceived exertion, accelerations, soreness, and sleep. Within and across articles, authors used different constructs for workload-related exposure variables. For example, distance was represented as total distance, distance per week, distance per 2 weeks, and acute-chronic workload ratio. The number of workload-related exposure variables included in comparative analyses ranged from 1 to 336. U CONCLUSION: Studies used different definitions of workload-related exposure variables. The number of workload-related exposure variables in a single study ranged from 1 to 336. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2020;50(10):538-548.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy
Pages (from-to)538-548
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

    Research areas

  • Athletes, Sports injury, Systematic scoping review, Training, Workload

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