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Systematic development of a tennis injury prevention programme
  1. Haiko I M F L Pas1,2,3,
  2. Stefan Bodde4,
  3. Gino M M J Kerkhoffs1,2,3,
  4. Babette Pluim4,
  5. Ivo J H Tiemessen5,
  6. Johannes L Tol2,6,
  7. Evert Verhagen3,7,8,9,
  8. Vincent Gouttebarge1,2,3,8,10
  1. 1 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam Movement Sciences, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  2. 2 Academic Center for Evidence-Based Sports Medicine (ACES), Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  3. 3 AMC/VUmc IOC Research Center, Amsterdam Collaboration on Health & Safety in Sports (ACHSS), Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  4. 4 Department of Sports Medicine, Royal Netherlands Lawn Tennis Association, Amersfoort, The Netherlands
  5. 5 Mobilito Sport, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  6. 6 Aspetar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Qatar
  7. 7 Department of Public and Occupational Health, Amsterdam Movement Sciences, VU University Medical Center Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  8. 8 Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
  9. 9 Australian Centre for Research into Injury in Sport and its Prevention (ACRISP), Federation University Australia, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
  10. 10 Dutch Consumer Safety Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Dr Vincent Gouttebarge; v.gouttebarge{at}


Introduction Despite an injury incidence of up to 3.0/1000 hours of play, there are no published tennis injury prevention programmes. This article aims to describe the developmental process of TennisReady, an e-health tennis-specific injury programme for adult recreational tennis players.

Five-step approach A bottom-up, five-step approach was used with the Knowledge Transfer Scheme as a guideline. During the first step, a problem statement among targeted users was carried out. 475 (partially) completed surveys and group interviews (n=8) revealed a preference for an app-based prevention intervention of 10–15 min. As a second step, a systematic review was performed to identify prevention strategies in tennis. None were found. In step 3, during two expert group meetings (n=18), the findings of the first two steps were discussed and goals were formulated. Relevant and potential exercises for the programme were discussed. A subgroup of a total of six physical therapists, physicians and trainers developed the content of the programme in step 4. Step 5 included an evaluation of the exercises in 33 recreational tennis players. Participants evaluated the exercises during training sessions with trainers involved in the programme’s development or their colleagues. Participants evaluated the programme through standardised surveys or group interviews. Based on this evaluation, the programme was adjusted by altering exercises and frequencies, and it was evaluated in a second target group (n=27). The second evaluation did not result in any major changes to the final prevention programme.

Conclusion Through a five-step approach guided by the Knowledge Transfer Scheme, we developed an e-health tennis-specific prevention programme for adult tennis players. This 10 min intervention will require testing in a randomised controlled setting.

  • tennis
  • injury
  • prevention

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  • Contributors All authors were responsible for the conceptualisation of the study. HIMFLP was responsible for drafting the manuscript, while all other authors were responsible for the critical review of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding The study was partly funded by the Dutch Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.