Published: 02-10-2017 13:09 | Updated: 02-10-2017 13:14

New thesis on injuries in adolescent elite athletes

Philip von Rosen. Foto: Selma Wolofsky

Hello Philip Von Rosen, PhD student at the Division of Physiotherapy, who is about to defend his thesis “Injuries, risk factors, consequences and injury perception in adolescent elite athletes”. What´s the main focus of your research?

Even though thousands of young elite athletes yearly participate in organized sports activities, the knowledge of injuries and injury consequences is limited. My thesis aims to increase our understanding of injuries, risk factors for injuries and the consequences of injuries in adolescent elite athletes studying on National Sports High Schools. We also have explored athletes’ perceptions and experience of being injured.

Which are the most important results?

The injury prevalence is high in young elite athletes with each week every third athlete reporting to be injured. Almost all athletes were found to be injured at least once over the course of a year and about 30 percent were injured for longer than six months. Some athletes had little experience of being injured and started to question and lose track of their own identity, while injured. The injured athletes also described they felt lonely and excluded from regular sports’ involvement and missed being part of a sporting group.

How can this new knowledge contribute to the improvement of people’s health?

We have identified that an alarming high proportion of athletes are regularly injured. Based on our findings, we recommended that medical teams, involving personnel from different health profession backgrounds, with a special focus on sports medicine become an integral part of sports at this level. We also recommend that an ongoing injury surveillance registry for athletes at National Sports High Schools becomes mandatory. Hopefully these actions may reduce the injury prevalence and contribute to a safer sport environment for young elite athletes.

What´s in the future for you? Will you keep on conducting research?

I am currently applying for funding and want to continue conducting research.

The thesis

Injuries, risk factors, consequences and injury perceptions in adolescent elite athletes