A retrospective service audit of a mobile physiotherapy unit on the PGA European Golf Tour

Phys Ther Sport. 2012 Feb;13(1):41-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ptsp.2010.09.001. Epub 2010 Oct 8.


Objectives: A 2-year retrospective audit was conducted to evaluate injury diagnosis and treatment provision from a mobile physiotherapy unit serving the Professional Golf Association (PGA) European Tour.

Design: Across two competitive seasons (2005/06), service data was collected at 36 tournaments (18 in 2005 and 18 in 2006). Service at each tournament was from Tuesday to Sunday, and equated to 216 days in total. Each approach made to the unit throughout this time was anonymously recorded as either i) a 'contact' where an injury diagnosis and/or treatment was provided, or ii) a 'non-contact' where no service was administered and players used the on-board fitness suite.

Results: Across the audit period a total of 7430 approaches were made to the unit, equating to 206 per event or 34 per service day. From all approaches 6705 'contacts' were documented with 2328 injuries recorded. A total of 9933 separate treatments were administered equating to 276 per event or 46 per day. Non-contacts equated to 725, representing only 9.8% of all approaches. Of the 2328 reported injuries, 66.6% (1551) were back-related, with 16.6% (385) and 16.8% (392), being related to upper and lower limbs, respectively. Of the 9933 treatments, 71.3% (7087) related to massage (40.7%), manipulation (15.6%) and stretching therapies (15.0%). As an overall trend, the total number of injury diagnoses and treatments increased across the 2-year period. The number of reported injuries rose by 25.6% (2005 = 1032; 2006 = 1296), whilst treatments rose by 17.2% (2005 = 4575; 2006 = 5359).

Conclusions: This retrospective audit provides a valuable insight into a servicing mobile physiotherapy unit on a professional sporting tour. Findings reveal the specific type and location of injuries encountered by PGA European Tour players as well as the range of treatments administered. In developing effective support services to the professional player on tour, data presented will allow for a more structured injury management system based of typical injury occurrence and treatment provision.

MeSH terms

  • Athletic Injuries / diagnosis*
  • Athletic Injuries / prevention & control
  • Athletic Injuries / therapy*
  • Europe
  • Golf / injuries*
  • Humans
  • Mobile Health Units*
  • Physical Therapy Specialty*
  • Retrospective Studies