Validity of injury self-reports by novice runners: comparison with reports by sports medicine physicians

Dirk Wouter Smits, Frank Backx, Henk Van Der Worp, Marienke Van Middelkoop, Fred Hartgens, Evert Verhagen, Bas Kluitenberg, Bionka Huisstede

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16 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined the criterion validity of self-reported running-related injuries (RRI) by novice runners. Fifty-eight participants (41 females; age 46 ± 11 yrs) of the “Start-to-Run” program provided self-reports on their RRIs using an online questionnaire. Subsequently, they attended injury consultations with sports medicine physicians who provided physician-reports (blinded for the self-reports) as a reference standard. Self-reports and physician-reports included information on injury location (i.e., hip/groin, upper leg, knee, lower leg, and ankle/foot) and injury type (i.e., muscle-tendon unit, joint, ligament, or bone). Sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive values were 100% for all five injury locations. For injury type, sensitivity was low (66% for muscle-tendon unit, 50% for ligament, and 40% for bone) and lowest for joint injuries (17%). In conclusion, the validity of self-reported RRIs by novice runners is good for injury locations but not for injury types. In particular for joint injuries, the validity of novice runners’ self-reports is low. Abbreviations: RRI: Running Related Injury; SMC: Sports Medicine Centre; MTU: Muscle Tendon Unit; PPV: Positive Predictive Value

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-87
Number of pages16
JournalResearch in Sports Medicine
Issue number1
Early online date3 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2019


  • Athletes
  • injury location
  • injury type
  • running
  • self-reports
  • validity

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