Injury Surveillance Systems in Dance; a Critical Review and Systematic Development of an Online System
Dance is a popular and physically demanding activity that involves hours of training, repetitive movements, and minimal recovery time. During competition and production seasons, dancers experience increased training load, high fatigue levels, and an increased risk of musculoskeletal injury. Injury surveillance may improve our understanding of the burden of injuries in dance, and guide prevention and management strategies that optimise dancer performance, wellbeing, and career longevity. Injury surveillance systems in dance, however, are scarce and difficult to access, and data collected on the epidemiology of injuries in dance is not standardised. Therefore, there is a need to develop standardised systems to improve injury data collection methods across all disciplines of dance. The current thesis is divided into 4 chapters. Chapter 1 provides a conceptual background of dance, injury, and injury surveillance, concluding with the aims and objectives of the thesis. Chapter 2 provides an overview of the prospective research on dance injury epidemiology across different dance disciplines and identifies gaps within the current literature, providing a clear rationale for pursuing the study outlined in the next chapter. Chapter 3 is written for submission to a peer-reviewed journal, which consists of 1) a Delphi-consensus study to determine the key elements required for an online dance injury surveillance system, and 2) testing of the usability and feasibility of the system based on an exemplary dance injury scenario. Chapter 4 discusses the importance of standardised injury surveillance within dance to determine the burden of injuries and provides recommendations for future clinical practice and research based on the findings of the thesis.