n International SportMed Journal - Using the world wide web to conduct epidemiological research : an example using the national basketball association




Several Web sites posted detailed information about NBA player injuries during the 1999-2000 and 2000-01 seasons. From these postings, information about injuries to 311 National Basketball Association (NBA) players in 2378 games during the 2 seasons stipulated was collated. These players suffered 593 injuries that caused them to miss 5819 player games. For every cited injury, a body region was listed (eg, ankle), with a more specific diagnosis (eg, sprain) being listed 82% of the time by at least 1 Web site. The average injury prevalence (percentage of players missing through injury) was higher among the bench players (15.1%) than the 5 designated starting players (12.4%) for each team. Some of the reported injuries to bench players might have been spurious and were possibly cited for the purposes of creating space on the 12-man roster. The true injury prevalence among NBA players in season 1999-2000 was probably at least 12%. Injuries caused more missed playing time in players 30 years or older (P < .001) and players with a body mass index of 26 or higher (P < .001). The level of diagnostic detail posted on Web sites and the similarity of the injury profile to previous surveys of basketball injuries suggest that most of the injury information on Web sites is fairly accurate.


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