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Journal of Athletic Training








Context: Assessment of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) after injury is important. Differences in HRQOL between nonathletes and athletes and between injured and uninjured athletes have been demonstrated; however, the evidence has not been synthesized.

Objective: To answer the following questions: (1) Does HRQOL differ among adolescent and collegiate athletes and nonathletes? (2) Does HRQOL differ between injured adolescent and collegiate athletes or between athletes with a history of injury and uninjured athletes or those without a history of injury?

Data Sources: We systematically searched CINAHL, MEDLINE, SPORTDiscus, and PubMed. A hand search of references was also conducted. Study Selection: Studies were included if they used generic instruments to compare HRQOL outcomes between athletes and nonathletes and between uninjured and injured athletes. Studies were excluded if they did not use a generic instrument, pertained to instrument development, or included retired athletes or athletes with a chronic disease.

Data Extraction: We assessed study quality using the modified Downs and Black Index Tool. Bias-corrected Hedges g effect sizes and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated. The Strength of Recommendation Taxonomy (SORT) was used to determine the overall strength of the recommendation. A random-effects meta-analysis was performed for all studies using the composite or total score.

Data Synthesis: Eight studies with modified Downs and Black scores ranging from 70.6% to 88.4% were included. For question 1, the overall random-effects meta-analysis was weak (effect size = 0.27, 95% confidence interval = 0.14, 0.40; P < .001). For question 2, the overall random-effects meta-analysis was moderate (effect size = 0.68, 95% confidence interval = 0.42, 0.95; P < .001).

Conclusions: Grade A evidence indicates that athletes reported better HRQOL than nonathletes and that uninjured athletes reported better HRQOL than injured athletes. However, the overall effect for question 1 was weak, suggesting that the differences between athletes and nonathletes may not be clinically meaningful. Clinicians should monitor HRQOL after injury to ensure that all dimensions of health are appropriately treated.


"Journal of Athletic Training and The Athletic Training Education Journal are both open access journals.

Consistent with the Budapest open access initiative (BOAI), all articles are free for users to access, read, download, and print. Information can be used providing that the source is appropriately acknowledged and/or referenced. An institution may post an author's manuscript in a digital repository. Any other posting on servers or replication of any content can be done only after obtaining permission from the NATA's publication office."

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Original Publication Citation

Clifton, D. R., Onate, J. A., Schussler, E., Djoko, A., Dompier, T. P., & Kerr, Z. Y. (2017). Epidemiology of knee sprains in youth, high school, and collegiate American football players. J Athl Train, 52(5), 464-473. doi:10.4085/1062-6050-52.3.09