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

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Iain SpearsORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by BMJ Publishing Group, 2017.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


© Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2017. All rights reserved.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) and 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.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Sharma J, Dixon J, Dalal S, Heagerty R, Spears I

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps

Year: 2017

Volume: 163

Issue: 6

Pages: 405-411

Print publication date: 01/12/2017

Online publication date: 24/11/2017

Acceptance date: 12/07/2016

Date deposited: 08/06/2020

ISSN (print): 2633-3767

ISSN (electronic): 2633-3775

Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1136/jramc-2016-000657

PubMed id: 29176004

Notes: Journal changed title to BMJ Military Health in 2019.


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