Plain English Summary
Background and study aims
Handball is associated with a high risk of overuse shoulder injury in the throwing shoulder that needs to be reduced. The purpose of this study is to show how an injury-prevention programme effectively reduces overuse shoulder injury in adult handball players.
Who can participate?
Any active handball player aged 18 years or older in any of the German-speaking handball leagues with at least one competitive match during the interventional season 2019-20
What does the study involve?
Teams register for the study and are allocated randomly in either the intervention arm or control arm. Players of the intervention group regularly participate in an injury-prevention programme for one season. Handball exposure and sustained injuries are documented for both groups on a biweekly basis.
What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
Possible benefits of the intervention arm are the complete reduction or reduction in intensity of overuse shoulder injury symptoms in the throwing arm. No risk are reported to date for neuromuscular injury prevention programmes.
Where is the study run from?
1. Department of Trauma Surgery, University Medical Center Regensburg, Germany
2. Dpt. of Trauma, Hand, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University Medical Center Wuerzburg, Germany
When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
May 2019 to April 2020
Who is funding the study?
Bundesinstitut für Sportwissenschaft / German Federal Institute for Sports Sciences
Who is the main contact?
Dr Leonard Achenbach
Prevention of overuse shoulder injury in handball: a cluster-randomised controlled trial
The purpose of this study is to show how an injury prevention programme specific for shoulder effectively reduces overuse throwing shoulder injury in handball players.
Approved 16.05.2019, Ethics Committee of the University of Regensburg (Universität Regensburg, ETHIKKOMMISSION, 93049 Regensburg, Germany; +49 941 943 5370; email@example.com), ref: ID 17-894_1-101
Prospective cluster-randomised controlled trial
Primary study design
Secondary study design
Randomised controlled trial
Patient information sheet
Not available in web format, please use the contact details below to request a patient information sheet (in German)
Overuse throwing shoulder injury
Intervention arm: teams are given a neuromuscular training programme. this should be implemented at least twice per week during the whole course of the season
Control arm: teams proceed with their normal training without any instructions
Total duration: season 2019/20 (July 2019 - April 2020)
Both arms have a follow-up during the season every two weeks by means of a standardised injury questionnaire, until the end of the study (April 2020)
Due to the low number of expected teams, stratified cluster randomisation is carried out and a 1:1 randomisation in both arms is scheduled. Stratification is based on sex (male/female), age (under-19/senior) and level of professionalism (league 1-3 / 4-6 / 7 or lower).
Primary outcome measure
Prevalence and intensity of overuse throwing shoulder injury measured using the OSTRC (Oslo Trauma Research Center) Overuse questionnaire as well as short handball-specific WOSI (Western Ontario Shoulder Index) every two weeks throughout the study.
Secondary outcome measures
Measured using the OSTRC (Oslo Trauma Research Center) Overuse questionnaire as well as short handball-specific WOSI (Western Ontario Shoulder Index) every two weeks throughout the study:
1. Prevalence and intensity of severe overuse throwing shoulder injury
2. Prevalence and intensity of overuse elbow injury
Overall trial start date
Overall trial end date
Reason abandoned (if study stopped)
Participant inclusion criteria
1. Active handball player in any of the German-speaking handball leagues with at least one competitive match during the interventional season 2019-20
2. Male or female
3. Willingness to implement biweekly prevention exercises into training and match warm-up
Target number of participants
Participant exclusion criteria
1. Inability to understand written German
2. No signed consent
Recruitment start date
Recruitment end date
Countries of recruitment
Trial participating centre
University Medical Center Regensburg
Department of Trauma Surgery Franz-Josef-Strauss Allee 11
Trial participating centre
University Medical Center Wuerzburg
Dpt. of Trauma, Hand, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Josef-Schneider-Straße 2
Bundesinstitut für Sportwissenschaft
German Federal Institute of Sport Science, BISp
Funding Body Type
Funding Body Subtype
Results and Publications
Publication and dissemination plan
Planned publication in a high-impact peer-reviewed journal.
IPD sharing statement:
The current data sharing plans for this study are unknown and will be available at a later date.
Intention to publish date
Participant level data
To be made available at a later date
Basic results (scientific)