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Biopsychosocial Factors Associated with Foot and Ankle Pain and Injury in Irish Dance: A Prospective Study

Roisin Cahalan, Helen Purtill, Kieran O'Sullivan
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 32 Number 2: Page 111 (June 2017)

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Abstract: BACKGROUND: Foot and ankle pain/injury (FAPI) is the most common musculoskeletal problem suffered in Irish dancing. A prospective examination of risk factors for FAPI in this cohort has never been performed. STUDY DESIGN: Prospective study over 1-year. METHODS: 85 elite adult Irish dancers were screened at baseline for biopsychosocial factors and followed up prospectively each month for 1 year to evaluate FAPI rates and potential risk factors. Subjects who suffered from multiple incidences of FAPI (with no pain/injury reported elsewhere in the body) or at least one moderate episode of FAPI were allocated to the foot/ankle-injured (FAI) group (n=28, 25 F/3 M). Subjects reporting no pain/injury or only one minor FAPI were allocated to the non-injured group (n=21, 14 F/7 M). Baseline differences in variables between groups were tested with the independent samples t-test, Mann-Whitney U-test for skewed data, and Fisher¿s exact test for categorical variables. RESULTS: Baseline factors significantly associated with the FAI group included failing to always perform a warm-up (p=0.042), lower levels of energy (p=0.013), and more bothersome pain (p=0.021). Subjects also scored worse on two dimensions of the Athletic Coping Skills Inventory: i.e., coping with adversity (p=0.035) and goal setting and mental preparation (p=0.009). CONCLUSION: Several biopsychosocial factors appear to be associated with FAPI in Irish dancers. Biopsychosocial screening protocols and prevention strategies may best identify and support at-risk dancers.

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