Volume 5, Issue 10 (November 2008)
A Synthesis of the World Literature of Ice Hockey Injuries: Epidemiologic Principles and Future Directions
Ice hockey is a fast-paced, aggressive sport whose participants are subject to relatively high rates of injury. Although there is a growing emphasis on the epidemiology of ice hockey research and its application towards reducing injuries, the literature has never been organized into an accessible database. Ice hockey is played in North America, Europe, Scandinavia, the U.K., and several other non-English speaking countries, yet injury reports not written in English are often ignored in review articles. The purpose of this project was to synthesize the existing world literature on ice hockey injuries into a framework of epidemiologic criteria, accessible in an organized, retrievable library. An extensive search of the following databases was done: MEDLINE, BIOSIS, EMBASE, NTIS, CURRENT CONTENTS, DISSERTATION ABSTRACTS, SPORT DISCUS, CINAHL, and WEB OF SCIENCE. Key words used were “ice hockey” and “injuries,” and the search range was 1966 to July 2007. Endnote X (Thompson Corp., Stamford, CT) was used for reference compilation. Eight hundred sixty seven documents were catalogued, from 27 countries in 8 languages. Documents were first categorized by type, including injury (226), equipment (45), case reports (94), review articles (294), editorials (39), or as focusing on the physiological, psychological, or medical aspects of ice hockey (169). Documents were then subdivided by study type and whether they were prospective (117) or retrospective (109). Further subdivisions beyond these levels were based on the inclusion of certain critical epidemiological criteria, including exposure time, a clear definition of “injury,” and the level of play, among others. This comprehensive database should make future ice hockey research more efficient, as well as promote sound epidemiology and a more global perspective.