The Use of Physical Screening Tools to Identify Injury Risk Within Pre-Professional Ballet Dancers: An Integrative Review

El uso de herramientas de cribado física para identificar el riesgo de lesiones en los bailarines de ballet preprofesionales: Una revisión integradora


Objective. To conduct an integrative review of all relevant research investigating the physical risk factors for injury within pre-professional ballet dancers, to provide insight that may benefit practitioners within these institutions and highlight areas for future research within this specialised population.

Design. Studies were identified from the following electronic databases: MEDLINE via PubMed, SPORTDiscus via EBSCOhost, and Web of Science Core Collection via Web of Science. 8,415 titles were identified during the electronic search process. Five studies satisfied the inclusion criteria and were included in the review. The modified Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) scale for observational studies was used to assess study quality.

Results. The review identified that the following physical characteristics may influence prospective injury risk in pre-professional ballet dancers: age and maturation status, anthropometrics and body composition, strength and power, joint mobility and range of motion, specific dance function, and cardiorespiratory fitness.

Limitations. The research identified lacked methodological quality. This, combined with the low number of studies identified, makes the design of screening protocols challenging for practitioners.

Originality. Despite the number of pre-professional balletic institutions worldwide, previous reviews have not used a systematic search strategy or investigated both sexes in this cohort. Due to the unique demands of ballet, an understanding of the interaction between injury and physical characteristics is a critical step in order to reduce injury burden.

Conclusions. This review succeeded in determining risk factors for injury within this population, but, due to insufficient evidence, could not provide robust screening recommendations.


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Niall MacSweeney
Charles Pedlar
Daniel Cohen
Ryan Mahaffey
Phil Price


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