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    Periodic Health Examination and Injury Prediction in Professional Football (Soccer): Theoretically, the Prognosis is Good

    Hughes, Tom, Sergeant, Jamie, de Windt, Danielle, Riley, Richard and Callaghan, MJ (2018) Periodic Health Examination and Injury Prediction in Professional Football (Soccer): Theoretically, the Prognosis is Good. Sports Medicine, 48 (11). pp. 2443-2448. ISSN 0112-1642

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    Abstract

    In professional soccer and other elite sports, medical and performance screening of athletes (also termed periodic health examination or PHE) is common practice. The purposes of this are: (1) to assist in identifying prevalent conditions that may be a threat to safe participation, (2) to assist in setting benchmark targets for rehabilitation or performance purposes and (3) to assist clinicians in determining which athletes may be at risk of future injury and selecting appropriate injury prevention strategies to reduce the perceived risk. However, when using PHE as an injury prevention tool, are clinicians seeking to identify potential causes of injury or to predict future injury? This Current Opinion aims to examine the conceptual differences between aetiology and prediction of injury while relating these areas to the capabilities of PHE in practice. We also introduce the concept of prognosis—a broader approach that is closely related to prediction—and why this may have greater applicability to PHE of professional athletes.

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