Sport Australia and the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) have commissioned the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) to investigate the existing and potential data sources for sport injury, with a view to develop a national sports injury data collection.
The development of this collection will:
As part of this project, the AIHW is consulting with sporting organisations, healthcare providers, insurers and government agencies to understand what sport injury data is currently being collected. This project will build on the body of injury work performed at AIHW including publications on Hospitalised sports injury in Australia, 2016-17.
This project will also assess the economic impact of participation in sport and physical activity. This study will not only look at the costs to the health system of sport injuries, but also investigate the potential savings associated with better health outcomes attributed through increased sports participation and physical activity.
Sport Australia and the AIS has commissioned this project to improve the availability of information on injuries that occur in a sporting context. This is important given the negative impacts on physical and mental health that sport injuries can have, as well as the benefits to overall health through regular physical activity. This project aims to:
Being physically active through means like organised sport improves the immune system and mental and musculoskeletal health, and reduces other risk factors such as being overweight or obese, high blood pressure, and high blood cholesterol.
While increased physical activity has plenty of health benefits, it does lead to an increased risk of injury. This in turn can have negative impacts on physical and mental health, and may lead to a person reducing their overall levels of physical activity. Studies have shown however that many sports injuries are either preventable, or can have their impacts reduced through improved prevention and management.
Improved injury surveillance is required to better understand the scale and nature of injuries that occur during sport and to support injury prevention programs. The development of a National Sport Injury Database will help provide sporting organisations, local councils, governments and researchers with the information required to both develop and enhance sport injury prevention programs.
Detailed data on Australian sport injuries that resulted in hospital admission is published, but this usually represents the more severe injuries and is only a small subset of all sport injuries. The admitted patient hospital data is provided to the AIHW by states and territories to publish national data.
Elite athletes have detailed injury data collected by their respective sporting organisations. This data is from a small number of individuals at the higher levels of sport, but potential privacy concerns and the different intensity of training and play make these data less relevant to community sport.
Some data is collected by sporting organisations, insurers, emergency departments, doctors, physiotherapists, or other medical professionals; however, this data may not be accessible or in a format that allows analysis. This leaves large data gaps on sport injuries that occur in the community.
We want to know if your organisation has any injury data, the types of data you collect, whether it is in an electronic format, and how it is currently used.
This project will help fill the data gaps so that sports organisations and researchers understand where and how sport injuries occur and identify ways to prevent their occurrence. Over time, better data will help direct research and program funding. Research may clarify issues, explore risks, and develop injury prevention programs for specific sports, ages, sexes and levels of fitness.
Our vision is for this project to support injury prevention programs and strategies so that less Australians are injured, and more Australians can participate in sport.
No. We have funding to bring together existing sports injury data under an approved Ethics Committee protocol, identify data gaps, and perform a pilot data collection.
If you have data that you could contribute, we will work with you to address any privacy or other concerns. Data could be provided de-identified (no name, address or date of birth) and would only be published in aggregate form to share insights about what types of injuries are occurring for different groups. The AIHW has more than 30 years of experience working with health data, and has evolved strong data governance arrangements.
The AIHW is an independent statutory agency accountable to the Australian Parliament and has extensive data governance arrangements. We have partnership agreements and memorandums of understanding, including with the Department of Health and Department of Social Services. We routinely report on national health data and statistics across Australia. The AIHW follows privacy and confidentiality laws and guidance including the Privacy Act 1988, the Australian Privacy Principles, and the AIHW Act 1987. All our data is kept within secure AIHW databases.
Should there be proprietary or other specific sensitivities about your data, you can specify these in any data sharing agreement. You can also put provisions in place around sharing data with researchers or approvals surrounding publication.
Please email us at [email protected].
The National Sports Injury Project is led by an expert Steering Committee. This Steering Committee includes:
How you can help Sport injury data - what we know
We'd love to know any feedback that you have about the AIHW website, its contents or reports.
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