October 3, 2023

Inj Prev. 2023 Aug 23:ip-2023-044905. doi: 10.1136/ip-2023-044905. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: Musculoskeletal injury (MSK-I) mitigation and prevention programmes (MSK-IMPPs) have been developed and implemented across militaries worldwide. Although programme efficacy is often reported, development and implementation details are often overlooked, limiting their scalability, sustainability and effectiveness. This scoping review aimed to identify the following in military populations: (1) barriers and facilitators to implementing and scaling MSK-IMPPs; (2) gaps in MSK-IMPP research and (3) future research priorities.

METHODS: A scoping review assessed literature from inception to April 2022 that included studies on MSK-IMPP implementation and/or effectiveness in military populations. Barriers and facilitators to implementing these programmes were identified.

RESULTS: From 132 articles, most were primary research studies (90; 68.2%); the remainder were review papers (42; 31.8%). Among primary studies, 3 (3.3%) investigated only women, 62 (69%) only men and 25 (27.8%) both. Barriers included limited resources, lack of stakeholder engagement, competing military priorities and equipment-related factors. Facilitators included strong stakeholder engagement, targeted programme design, involvement/proximity of MSK-I experts, providing MSK-I mitigation education, low burden on resources and emphasising end-user acceptability. Research gaps included variability in reported MSK-I outcomes and no consensus on relevant surveillance metrics and definitions.

CONCLUSION: Despite a robust body of literature, there is a dearth of information about programme implementation; specifically, barriers or facilitators to success. Additionally, variability in outcomes and lack of consensus on MSK-I definitions may affect the development, implementation evaluation and comparison of MSK-IMPPs. There is a need for international consensus on definitions and optimal data reporting elements when conducting injury risk mitigation research in the military.

PMID:37620010 | DOI:10.1136/ip-2023-044905