BACKGROUND: Before preventive actions can be suggested for sports injuries at the national level, a solid surveillance system is required in order to study their epidemiology, risk factors and mechanisms. There are guidelines for sports injury data collection and classifications in the literature for that purpose. In Sweden, 90% of all athletes (57/70 sports federations) are insured with the same insurance company and data from their database could be a foundation for studies on acute sports injuries at the national level.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the usefulness of sports injury insurance claims data in sports injury surveillance at the national level.
METHOD: A database with 27 947 injuries was exported to an Excel file. Access to the corresponding text files was also obtained. Data were reviewed on available information, missing information and dropouts. Comparison with ASIDD (Australian Sports Injury Data Dictionary) and existing consensus statements in the literature (football (soccer), rugby union, tennis, cricket and thoroughbred horse racing) was performed in a structured manner.
RESULT: Comparison with ASIDD showed that 93% of the suggested data items were present in the database to at least some extent. Compliance with the consensus statements was generally high (13/18). Almost all claims (83%) contained text information concerning the injury.
CONCLUSIONS: Relatively high-quality sports injury data can be obtained from a specific insurance company at the national level in Sweden. The database has the potential to be a solid base for research on acute sports injuries in different sports at the national level.
2014. Vol. 4, no 6, e005056- p.