Background: The identification of risk factors for groin injury in sport is important to develop and implement injury prevention strategies.
Objective: To identify and evaluate the evidence examining risk factors for groin injury in sport.
Material and methods: Nine electronic databases were systematically searched to June 2014. Studies selected met the following criteria: original data; analytic design; investigated a risk factor(s); included outcomes for groin injury sustained during sport participation. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines were followed and two independent authors assessed the quality and level of evidence with the Downs and Black (DB) criteria and Oxford Centre of Evidence-Based Medicine model, respectively.
Results: Of 2521 potentially relevant studies, 29 were included and scored. Heterogeneity in methodology and injury definition precluded meta-analyses. The most common risk factors investigated included age, hip range of motion, hip adductor strength and height. The median DB score across studies was 11/33 (range 6-20). The majority of studies represented level 2 evidence (cohort studies) however few considered the inter-relationships between risk factors. There is level 1 and 2 evidence that previous groin injury, higher-level of play, reduced hip adductor (absolute and relative to the hip abductors) strength and lower levels of sport-specific training are associated with increased risk of groin injury in sport.
Conclusions: We recommended that investigators focus on developing and evaluating preparticipation screening and groin injury prevention programmes through high-quality randomised controlled trials targeting athletes at greater risk of injury.
Keywords: Athlete; Groin; Hip; Injuries; Risk factor.
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