Aetiology of handball injuries: a case-control study

M. Dirx, L. M. Bouter, G. H. de Geus

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This article presents the results of a case-control study regarding the background to handball injuries among players of 12 years and older. Data were collected by means of a written questionnaire on the nature, location and direct causes of the injuries as well as information on risk factors. Injured players (n = 130) are compared with non-injured players (n = 512). The response for the cases was 67% and for the controls 75%. These injuries are frequently located at the lower extremities (54% of injuries), especially the ankle, and the majority involve distortions (35%) and strains (26%). Players >20 years have a significantly greater risk of injury than players <20 years (odds ratio 1.9). Several factors seem to increase the injury risk, although not significantly: having >5 years experience, not doing stretching exercises and not wearing tape or bandages. Another factor, not wearing elbow protectors, appears to decrease the injury risk significantly. It is advisable to interpret the results of this study with some caution, as selection and information bias might have influenced the validity to some extent. Furthermore, the reliability of the data is limited due to the relatively small number of injured players in the study. Some guidelines for future studies are formulated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-124
Number of pages4
JournalBritish Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • case-control study
  • handball
  • risk factors
  • Sports injuries


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