HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The following is a news release from The University of Southern Mississippi:
Injuries acquired during participation in high school sports can have lifelong physical, emotional and financial consequences. The University of Southern Mississippi's School of Human Performance and Recreation, Hattiesburg Clinic Sports Medicine and Lamar County School District (LCSD) are collaborating on an injury surveillance project focused on recording the incidence of injuries to secondary school athletes requiring removal from practice or competition for any period of time versus those that do not.
The project will use the certified athletic trainer from each participating high school to document all injury events. The collected data will be analyzed for injury patterns during practice and competition in boys' and girls' junior varsity and high school sports.
"Descriptive data gleaned from this study, such as recovery time from a consussion, could be correlated with equipment, such as newer technology helmets, that could inform as well as raise the standard of secondary school care provided in the Hattiesburg community," said Dr. Trent Gould, associate dean of the College of Health and professor in the School of Human Performance and Recreation (HPR). "The monitoring of injury patterns in the wide variety of sports offered by LCSD, in conjunction with intervention-based experiements, can likewise serve as a platform for evidence-based recommendations for state level sport participation safety policies."
Gould and Dr. Scott Piland, associate professor and assistant director of HPR, are lead investigators on the project. The Hattiesburg Clinic Sports Medicine department has provided sports medicine coverage through its athletic trainers to LCSD for several years. The project began in August with the start of the 2013-2014 academic year and will continue indefinitely.
"We hope that this partnership will provide information that will advance our overall care of athletes, especially in the area of prevention," said Mike Williamson, director of Sports Medicine at Hattiesburg Clinic. "This data collection will assist us with evidence-based practice that will improve policies, procedures and practice patterns for athletic health care."
Gould and Piland plan to expand their injury surveillance program to four additional high schools by spring 2015. They aim to translate their research into improving health for students through evidence-based policy and clinical practice recommendations.
"Down the road we hope to help inform policies, such as a class students would take informing them of risks associated with participation in athletics or return-to-learning policies for student athletes with sports-related concussions." said Gould. "However, you need data to support these types of recommended policy changes."
To learn more about the School of Human Performance and Recreation, visit www.usm.edu/hpr. For more about Hattiesburg Clinic Sports Medicine, visit http://www.hattiesburgclinic.com/sports-medicine. For more about the Lamar County School District, visit www.lamarcountyschools.org/.