Sportgeneeskunde Nederland

Verstandig sporten en gezond bewegen

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Validity of injury self-reports by novice runners: comparison with reports by sports medicine physicians.

Smits DW, Backx F, Van Der Worp H, Van Middelkoop M, Hartgens F, Verhagen E, Kluitenberg B, Huisstede B.

This study examined the criterion validity of self-reported running-related injuries (RRI) by novice runners. Fifty-eight participants (41 females; age 46 ± 11 yrs) of the "Start-to-Run" program provided self-reports on their RRIs using an online questionnaire. Subsequently, they attended injury consultations with sports medicine physicians who provided physician-reports (blinded for the self-reports) as a reference standard. Self-reports and physician-reports included information on injury location (i.e., hip/groin, upper leg, knee, lower leg, and ankle/foot) and injury type (i.e., muscle-tendon unit, joint, ligament, or bone). Sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive values were 100% for all five injury locations. For injury type, sensitivity was low (66% for muscle-tendon unit, 50% for ligament, and 40% for bone) and lowest for joint injuries (17%). In conclusion, the validity of self-reported RRIs by novice runners is good for injury locations but not for injury types. In particular for joint injuries, the validity of novice runners' self-reports is low.


RRI: Running Related Injury; SMC: Sports Medicine Centre; MTU: Muscle Tendon Unit; PPV: Positive Predictive Value.