Risk factors for hip and groin injury in Gaelic football

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Injury prevention and prediction in sports medicine is of huge importance to sports medicine professionals, coaches, and athletes as it improves performance and reduces time and money lost due to injury. Previously there has been no evidence- based prospective study in an elite population of gaelic footballers regarding the risk factors for hip and groin injury.

To investigate the etiology of hip and groin injury in sport, through prospective examination of dynamic risk factor profile and injury incidence in GAA athletes.

The aims of this study were achieved through three strands of research: A systematic review, A nominal group and finally, a prospective study to determine how risk factor profile changes across a playing season, using a large cohort of GAA athletes and how this relates to injury incidence.

This thesis encompasses a systematic review highlighting the dearth of evidence regarding risk factor analysis in this population. This is followed by the establishment of a testing protocol using consensus methods and a large, prospective study examining these proposed risk factors at two time points across a playing season. The most notable findings of the prospective study are first, that previous injury continues to be a risk factor for subsequent injury. In addition to this, clinical measures offer little value in injury prediction, however pain provocation tests and patient reported outcome measures may be useful in the monitoring of ‘at risk’ athletes.

This thesis suggests that continuous monitoring of a dynamic risk factor profile may be of more benefit than preseason or baseline testing. It is noted, however that it remains difficult to predict hip and groin injury at an individual level.
Date of AwardMay 2018
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorChris Bleakley (Supervisor) & Suzanne Mc Donough (Supervisor)


  • Hip
  • Groin
  • Prediction

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