PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to examine the relative risk of sports injuries based on pre-participation evaluation among Uganda athletes.
METHODS: This cohort included 546 athletes, > or = 18 years old, who were free from injury at the beginning of the study. This investigation focused on the relative risk of injuries from 4 main sports (football/soccer n= 161, track and field, n= 106, basketball, n = 120 and rugby, n= 159).
RESULTS: After a one year follow up, seventy- five lost-time injuries (n= 75) in both male and female athletes who sustained abrasions, concussion, contusion, dislocations, laceration, fainting, fractures, sprains and strain injuries were reported. There was an increased risk of sports injuries among athletes who didn’t undergo pre-participation evaluation compared to those who did. The relative risk for sports injuries in athletes without pre-participation evaluation was greater in rugby (relative risk, 21.8, 95% CI, 13.6 - 33.88), followed by football/soccer (relative risk, 21.6, 95% CI, 3.1 - 33.78), followed by track and field (relative risk, 14.1, 95% CI, 9.0- 23.17) and basketball (relative risk, 12.2, 95% CI, 7.56 to 19.63).
CONCLUSION: Pre-participation evaluation is an important risk factor in sports injury acquisition. Our findings reveal gaps in practice among personnel involved in the prevention of sports-related injuries in Uganda, thus warranting specific sports regulations.