Determining the feasibility of a prehabilitative injury prevention programme for netball players in South Africa
Background: The South African government has taken a stance to prioritise sporting codes within South Africa that report high participation and is inclusive of the population demographic of South Africa. Netball has been highlighted as one of these sixteen named sporting codes. Linked to the high participation of netball players in the sport is a high prevalence of injuries, which is well documented throughout the literature. Injury management within a South African context presents a number of challenges due to the current environment of health care in the country as well as an array of barriers that directly impact the netball players themselves as well as netball as a federation. Injury prevalence results in a need to both manage and prevent sporting injuries. The purpose of this study was to develop an injury prevention programme for netball players in South Africa and to establish the feasibility of such a programme for implementation. Method: The study took place under the auspices of Netball South Africa and the injury prevalence data was collected at a national netball tournament at the University of Pretoria. Sequential mixed methods was used as a framework to guide the study, and included a range of research methods as part of that process. The problem was identified in two phases using a cross sectional self-administered questionnaire and a qualitative aspect using semi-structured interviews. The design of the injury prevention programme that aimed to address the problem was informed by a systematic review of literature. The process that guided the development of the injury prevention programme was intervention mapping. This process led to the development of an injury prevention programme that included a coach’s educational booklet, an injury prevention exercise protocol and an administrative structure of a National Physiotherapy Association. The evaluation for feasibility for the implementation of the injury prevention programme was evaluated via a Delphi study.