Introduction: Groin injuries are among the three most common and time-consuming injuries in soccer, accounting for 2-19% of all injuries, with an incidence of 0.1-2.1 injuries per 1000 hours of play. Sports injury prevention programs have been showing promising results in reducing the risk of groin injury. The purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to investigate the effectiveness of the FIFA 11+ Injury Prevention Program on reducing the incidence of groin injury among soccer players.
Methods: This systematic review with meta-analysis was based upon the guidelines of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA). A systematic search for relevant studies published from 1985-2022 using the following databases: Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, AMED, PubMed, Web of Science, and PEDro was conducted. The keywords used in the search strategy were ‘neuromuscular training’, ‘injury prevention programs’, ‘FIFA 11+’, ‘groin injury’, ‘soccer, and variations of these search terms. Included studies had to be randomized controlled trials using FIFA 11+ Injury Prevention Program for soccer players with the primary outcome being groin injury rate. There were no restrictions of age or playing level. The random-effects model was used in analysing the extracted data by the RevMan Meta-Analysis software version 5.
Results: The pooled results of 7939 players and 695503 exposure hours showed 48% groin injury reduction per 1000 hours of exposure in the intervention group compared to control group with an Injury Risk Ratio [IRR] of 0.52 (95% Confidence Interval [CI] [0.37, 0.73] P=0.0001).
Discussion/Conclusion: This is the first meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials to evaluate the effectiveness of FIFA 11+ Injury Prevention Program in reducing the incidence of groin injury among soccer players. This meta-analysis demonstrates that the FIFA 11+ Injury Prevention Program reduces the incidence of groin injury by 48% among soccer players.
Impact/Application to the field: The results showed a 48% groin injury reduction. Therefore, it's recommended that soccer players and coaches implement the FIFA 11+ Injury Prevention Program in their current practice.
Conflict of interest statement: No conflict of interest of relevance to the submission of this abstract.