Context: Fewer athletic injuries and lower anterior cruciate ligament injury incidence rates were noted in studies of neuromuscular-training (NMT) interventions that had high compliance rates. However, several groups have demonstrated that preventive NMT interventions were limited by low compliance rates. Objective: To descriptively analyze coach and athlete compliance with preventive NMT and compare the compliance between study arms as well as among school levels and sports. Design: Randomized, controlled clinical trial. Setting: Middle and high school athletic programs. Participants or Other Participants: A total of 52 teams, comprising 547 female athletes, were randomly assigned to the experimental or control group and followed for 1 athletic season. Intervention(s): The experimental group (n = 30 teams [301 athletes]: 12 basketball teams [125 athletes], 6 soccer teams [74 athletes], and 12 volleyball teams [102 athletes]) participated in an NMT program aimed at reducing traumatic knee injuries through a trunk-stabilization and hip-strengthening program. The control group (n = 22 teams [246 athletes]: 11 basketball teams [116 athletes], 5 soccer teams [68 athletes], and 6 volleyball teams [62 athletes]) performed a resistive rubber-band running program. Main Outcome Measure(s): Compliance with the assigned intervention protocols (3 times per week during the preseason [mean = 3.4 weeks] and 2 times per week in-season [mean = 11.9 weeks] of coaches [coach compliance] and athletes [athlete compliance]) was measured descriptively. Using an independent t test, we compared coach and athlete compliance between the study arms. A 2-way analysis of variance was calculated to compare differences between coach and athlete compliance by school level (middle and high schools) and sport (basketball, soccer, and volleyball). Results: The protocols were completed at a mean rate of 1.3 ± 1.1 times per week during the preseason and 1.2 ± 0.5 times per week in-season. A total of 88.4% of athletes completed 2/3 of the intervention sessions. Coach compliance was greater in the experimental group than in the control group (P = .014). Coach compliance did not differ by sport but was greater at the high school than the middle school (P = .001) level. Athlete compliance did not differ by study arm, sport, or school level. Conclusions: Athletes received instruction in about 50% of each protocol. Nearly 90% of athletes performed more than 2/3 of the assigned NMT interventions. The assigned intervention was performed more often in the experimental arm compared with the control arm. Coaches at the high school level complied with the given protocol more than middle school coaches did. Athletes complied well with the protocol, but coaches did not, especially at the middle school level.
- Anterior cruciate ligament
- Athletic injuries
- High school
- Middle school
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation