“Behavior change – a key aspect of injury preventive training in youth sport” (by Sofia Bunke & Eva Ageberg)

About the speaker: Sofia Bunke is a senior lecturer and deputy head of the department of psychology at Lund University, Sweden. Her research interest focus on health promotion through implementation of prevention programs and behavior change in sport, with a specific hub on injury prevention training since 2014 with the research group “musculoskeletal function”.

“Behavior change – a key aspect of injury preventive training in youth sport” (by Sofia Bunke)

Text: Simon Martin, a summary of the symposium: “Psychological perspectives on sport injuries”  held at the Nordic sport science conference. November 22/23 2017, Halmstad.

Background: There is strong evidence supporting injury prevention program effectiveness. However, it remains challenging to actually implement a sport specific program in the “real world of practice”. [ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”3,5,6,12,13,14,15,16″ ihc_mb_template=”1″ ]

Goal: The I-PROTECT project is an ongoing interdisciplinary project (2016 to 2020) aiming to implement injury Prevention exercise ROutines in TEams and Clubs in youth Team handball. Pragmatic, this project involves collaboration of various experts with the main goal of actually changing injury prevention behaviors, by following different stages.


  1. Given the preventive behaviors, the first step is to identify facilitators that enhance their implementation. The concept mapping (brain storming between multiple stakeholders) revealed a range of facilitators, subsequently summarized by the research group.
  2. The second step allows to convert the identified facilitators into concrete guidelines, such as “to have a long term perspective on training” or “to make injury prevention training into a fun activity”.
  3. This critical step aims to ensure an effective transition from intention, motivation to volition or actual action.
  4. Developing a health action process questionnaire for players, coaches and club representatives to provide feedbacks and update the program.

Take-home message: a sport specific grounded program involving collaboration between different experts (researcher, coaches…) and focusing on the intention-to-action process is more likely to result in effective injury prevention behaviors.


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