Are Coach-led Intervention Programs Effective in Reducing ACL Injury? A Systematic Review

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Schumacher, Brandi Avis
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<b><i>Objective:</b></i> To systematically review the available literature to determine whether coach led prevention programs are as effective as a mixed leadership group in reducing the incidence of ACL injury in athletes. <b><i>Data Sources:</b></i> We searched PubMed, CINAHL, SPORTDiscus, and Medline for articles published through February 2014 using the terms anterior cruciate ligament, ACL, prevention, prevention program, and neuromuscular training. <b><i>Study Selection:</b></i> Criteria for inclusion required that (1) the article was published in a peer-reviewed journal and available in English, (2) a preventative training program was implemented, (3) a description of who led the prevention program was provide, and (4) ACL injury incidence and athlete exposure were reported. Eight articles met inclusion criteria and were rated using the Phsyiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) Scale. PEDro scores ranged from 3 to 8 with a mean of 5.44 and a standard deviation of 1.51. <b><i>Data Synthesis:</b></i> The eight articles were divided based on intervention leader. Incidence rates for ACL injury in each study were compared to determine prevention program efficacy. When ACL injury rates weren’t given, they were calculated based on reported results. <b><i>Conclusion:</b></i> Many variations were found between prevention program designs and implementation. All interventions but one resulted in a decreased incidence with an equal amount of coach led programs and mixed group led programs reaching statistical significance. In conclusion, prevention programs are effective at reducing ACL injury incidence regardless of the personnel in charge of implementing them. Future studies should focus on isolating the intervention leader variable while keeping other variables consistent.
ACL injury, prevention program, leadership