A descriptive prospective study of sports medicine practices for athletes in Uganda
Background: Many international sporting organizations have recommended practices to reduce the risk of injury. These practices include screening for injury, having appropriate emergency medical care, and protocols for managing injury before return-to-play. The extent of the uptake of these practices in a developing country such as Uganda, is unknown.
Methodology: Using a descriptive case study approach, this investigation focused on a sample of injured athletes (n = 75) in Uganda from four main sports associations (football, athletics, basketball and rugby). The data were collected through observations and interviews after the injury. Using a best medical practice framework the phases of emergency, intermediate, rehabilitative, and return-to-sports participation were described.
Result: Nine conditions/types of injury were included. The results revealed a lack of specific pre-season screening or re- turn-to-play readiness for all the injured athletes. Further, there was a lack of application of best practice principles for most of the injury types. For athletes who received medical care, the results show inconsistencies and inadequacies from the acute stage of the injury to return-to-sports participation.
Conclusion: This study identified barriers such as up-to-date knowledge among the sports resource providers; the gaps for appropriate and adequate specific facilities for managing injured athletes, and policies to mandate care of injured athletes. These barriers detract from applying best medical practices.
Keywords: Injuries; medical; Uganda; emergency; intermediate; rehabilitation; return-to-sports.
While African Health Sciences has been freely accessible online there have been questions on whether it is Open Access or not. We wish to clearly state that indeed African Health Sciences is Open Access. There are key issues regarding Open Access needing clarification for avoidance of doubt:
- 1. Henceforth, papers in African Health Sciences will be published under the CC BY (Creative Commons Attribution License) 4.0 International. See details on https://creativecomons.org/)
- 2. The copyright owners or the authors grant the 3rd party (perpetually and in advance) the right to disseminate, reproduce, or use the research papers in part or in full, format/medium as long as:
- No substantive errors are introduced in the process
- Attribution of authorship and correct citation details are given
- The referencing details are not changed.
Should the papers be reproduced in part, this must be clearly stated.
- 3. The papers will be freely and universally accessible online in an easily readable format such as XML in at least one widely recognized open access repository such as PUBMED CENTRAL.
B. ABRIDGED LICENCE AGREEMENT BETWEEN AUTHORS AND African Health Sciences
I submitted my manuscript to African Health Sciences and would like to affirm that:
1.0 I am authorized by my co-authors to enter into these arrangements.
2.0 I guarantee, on behalf of self and co-authors:
- That the paper is original, and has not been published in any other peer-reviewed journal; nor is it under consideration by other journal (s). It does not infringe existing copyright or any other person’s rights
- That we are/I am the sole author(s) of the paper and with authority to enter into this agreement. My granting rights to African Health Sciences is not in breach of any other obligation
- That the paper contains nothing unlawful, or libelous. Nor anything that would constitute a breach of contract, confidence or commitment given to secrecy, if published
- That I/we have taken care to ensure the integrity of the article.