Jan 29, 2015
Tracking High School Injuries

A new project will track injuries, treatment, and outcomes of high school athletes.
The National Athletic Trainers’ Association Education & Research Foundation and Datalys Center for Sports Injury Research and Prevention have teamed up to conduct the first study integrating injury surveillance, treatment and patient outcomes using data gathered by athletic trainers in public high schools. Datalys Center, an Indianapolis-based non-profit organization, received a grant from the NATA Foundation for this study, named NATA NATION (National Athletic Treatment Injury and Outcomes Network). The research will be conducted over the next three years using a national population sample.

“Injuries among our high school athletes present unique challenges for athletic trainers and other health care professionals,” said NATA Foundation President Mark Hoffman, PhD, ATC. “Unlike professional or collegiate athletes, many in this age group are still growing, and often they are playing multiple sports. This information will allow us to evaluate the impact of athletic training services on this unique population while providing an important resource to physicians, coaches, administrators and parents. We hope this will lead to an increased level of care for our student athletes.”

The partnership between NATA and Datalys Center on the secondary school research will be similar to the innovative approach to injury surveillance that Datalys uses for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

“We’ve been working with the NCAA for the last two years on understanding sports related injuries in collegiate populations,” said Troy Hege, president of the Datalys Center. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the NATA Foundation and leverage our expertise and experience in injury surveillance to better understand injuries and outcomes in a secondary school population. This research is important because of the age of the athletes, the sheer size of the population, and the growing interest in this population by the public health and clinical care communities.”

The National Athletic Trainers’ Association, the profession’s membership organization, is partially underwriting the research. NATA hopes that NATA NATION will demonstrate the importance of the continuum of care provided by athletic trainers in secondary schools. According to NATA, athletic trainers frequently are the only health care professionals serving these students; additionally, the injury prevention and wellness services athletic trainers provide are important to allowing students to more fully participate in sports and physical activity.

Further contributions for this project have been received from American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, National Basketball Athletic Trainers Association and various individuals.

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