Perceived Barriers to and Facilitators of an Injury Prevention Program Among Professional Male Ice Hockey Players and Staff Members

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Context: Injury prevention programs for the lower extremities are effective in team-sport athletes. Objective: To identify barriers and facilitators among professional ice hockey players and staff members for adhering to an injury prevention program. Design: Cross-sectional survey. Setting and Participants: A questionnaire about barriers and facilitators related to knowledge/perceptions, beliefs, adoption, and habits about injury prevention was filled out by Swiss professional male ice hockey players and staff members. Main Outcome Measures: Frequencies of ratings were calculated and binary logistic regression analysis was applied to predict a relationship between a high/low perceived benefit of an injury prevention program and player characteristics. Results: Knowledge, perceived benefit, and relevance of injury prevention as well as awareness of high risk of injuries in ice hockey were identified as important facilitators. Players’ habit of exercise performance was identified as a barrier. Program understanding of staff members was identified as a facilitator and barrier. No significant relationships were observed between a high/low perceived benefit of an injury prevention program and age (P = .85), nationality (P = .53), level of education (P = .63), National League experience (P = .50), or occurrence of lower-extremity injuries in the previous season (P = .10). Conclusions: Players and staff members clearly rated perceived benefits of an injury prevention program, which can be considered an important facilitator of the uptake and adoption of such a program in ice hockey teams. Players should be educated about well-performed injury prevention exercises. Staff members should be educated about the aim of a regular injury prevention program. An injury prevention program might be implemented in players of all ages, levels of education, and experience in the National League, irrespective of previous injuries. Identified barriers and facilitators should be addressed when implementing an injury prevention program in a setting of professional ice hockey teams in the future.

Brunner, Bizzini, and Maffiuletti are with the Human Performance Lab, Schulthess Clinic, Zurich, Switzerland. Niedermann is with the Institute of Physiotherapy, School of Health Professions, Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Winterthur, Switzerland.

Brunner (Romana.Brunner@kws.ch) is corresponding author.
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