What is the Incidence of MSK Injuries during Basic Training for the Different British Army Infantry Regiments?

Research Paper Title

Musculoskeletal injuries in British Army recruits: a prospective study of incidence in different Infantry Regiments.

Background

Musculoskeletal injuries and attrition incurred during basic military training are a significant socioeconomic burden across many Defence Forces. In order to plan an injury prevention strategy, the purpose of this study was to quantify the regiment-specific musculoskeletal injury patterns and training outcomes.

Methods

This was a prospective observational study of the Parachute (n=734), Guards (n=1044), Line (n=3472) and Gurkha (n=458) Regiments of the British Army recruits during a 26-week basic military training programme over a 2-year period. The participant demographic characteristics were:

  • Age 18.9 years (SD±2.3).
  • Height 176.5 cm (SD±7.80).
  • Mass 69 kg (SD±9.7).
  • Body mass index 22.14 kg/m2 (SD±2.5).

Results

The incidence of injuries (86%, 46%, 48% and 10%) was significantly different (p<0.001) as were the first time pass out rates (p=0.02) of 38%, 51%, 56% and 98% for Parachute, Guards, Line and Gurkha, respectively. Overuse injuries were more frequently reported than both acute and recurrent injuries in all regiments (X2=688.01, p<0.01).

Conclusions

The disparity in injury incidence and training outcome between Infantry Regiments suggests that the demands of training be taken into account when devising injury prevention strategies.

Reference

Sharma, J., Dixon, J., Dalal, S., Heagerty, R. & Spears, I. (2017) Musculoskeletal injuries in British Army recruits: a prospective study of incidence in different Infantry Regiments. Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps. 163(6):406-411. doi: 10.1136/jramc-2016-000657. Epub 2017 Nov 24.

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