Previous knee injury and health-related quality of life in collegiate athletes

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Journal of Athletic Training


Context: Patient-rated outcome measures (PROMs) capture changes that are important and meaningful to patients, such as health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Although group differences in HRQOL have been reported, little is known about the effect of injury history on HRQOL in collegiate athletes. Objective: To determine whether knee-specific function (International Knee Documentation Committee Subjective Knee Evaluation Form [IKDC]) and HRQOL (Short Form 12 [SF-12]) differs in collegiate athletes based on sex and the severity of a previous knee injury. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Athletic training facilities. Patients or Other Participants: Healthy collegiate athletes (n = 263) were grouped based on self-report of a previous knee injury: severe (n=47), mild (n=40), and no (n=176) knee injury. Intervention(s): Participants completed the IKDC and SF-12 during their preparticipation examinations. Main Outcome Measure(s): Generalized linear models were used to assess interactions and main effects of all scores. Results: An interaction effect was observed for the SF-12 role physical subscale (P =.02), with men in the mild- and severe-injury groups reporting worse scores than men with no injury history. We noted a main effect for injury group for the IKDC total score (P <.001) and SF-12 physical functioning (P=.04) and role emotional (P =.04) subscales, with the severeinjury group reporting worse scores than the mild- and no-injury groups. No main effects of sex were reported (P >.05). Conclusions: Despite returning to full participation, collegiate athletes who previously sustained severe knee injuries tended to report worse knee-specific function and less ability to complete activities due to physical health. In addition, individuals with a history of severe knee injury tended to report more emotional concerns than athletes with a history of mild or no knee injury. Region-specific PROMs may be more sensitive in detecting deficits than generic PROMs after return to full participation. Researchers should investigate the role of PROMs, particularly region-specific PROMs, as potential screening tools for clinical care.

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