To commence injury prevention efforts, it is necessary to understand the magnitude of the injury problem. No systematic reviews have yet investigated the extent of injuries in field hockey, despite the popularity of the sport worldwide. The objective of this study was to describe the rate and severity of injuries in field hockey and investigate their characteristics.
The authors conducted electronic searches in PubMed, Embase, SPORTDiscus, and CINAHL. Prospective cohort studies were included if they were published in English in a peer-reviewed journal and observed all possible injuries sustained by field hockey players during the period of the study.
The risk of bias score of the 22 studies included ranged from three to nine of a possible ten. In total, 12 studies (55%) reported injuries normalized by field hockey exposure. Injury rates ranged from 0.1 injuries (in school-aged players) to 90.9 injuries (in Africa Cup of Nations) per 1000 player-hours and from one injury (in high-school women) to 70 injuries (in under-21 age women) per 1000 player-sessions. Studies used different classifications for injury severity, but-within studies-injuries were included mostly in the less severe category. The lower limbs were most affected, and contusions/hematomas and abrasions were common types of injury. Contact injuries are common, but non-contact injuries are also a cause for concern.
Considerable heterogeneity meant it was not possible to draw conclusive findings on the extent of the rate and severity of injuries. Establishing the extent of sports injury is considered the first step towards prevention, so there is a need for a consensus on injury surveillance in field hockey.