The objective of this study was to reach a consensus definition of running-related injury in recreational runners through a modified Delphi approach. Many studies have pointed to the need for a standardized definition of running-related injury to provide uniformity to injury surveillance in running.
112 researchers from running-related injury studies identified in a previous systematic review were invited to classify words and terms often used in definitions of running-related injury in an online form during 3 rounds of study. In the last round, participants were asked to approve or disapprove the consensus definition. An agreement level of at least 75% was taken to be a consensus.
Thirty-eight participants agreed to take part in the study. The response rates were 94.7% (n = 36) for the first round, 83.3% (n = 30) for the second round, and 86.7% (n = 26) for the third round. A consensus definition of running-related injury was reached, with 80% of participants approving the following: “Running-related (training or competition) musculoskeletal pain in the lower limbs that causes a restriction on or stoppage of running (distance, speed, duration, or training) for at least 7 days or 3 consecutive scheduled training sessions, or that requires the runner to consult a physician or other health professional.”
The proposed standardized definition of running-related injury could aid in standardizing the definitions used in sport science research and facilitate between-study comparisons. Future studies testing the validity of the proposed consensus definition, in addition to its accurate translation to other languages, are also needed.