Screening: To predict or protect

To predict or protect; the value of screening in sports practice

Recently an academic discussion has evoked around the message that screening does not predict which athlete will sustain an injury. In various media the clinical implications of this conclusion are interpreted to mean that screening is useless in sports medical practice. However, screening remains essential in our efforts to protect athletes’ health. Indeed, screening may not predict which athlete will sustain an injury, but this does not directly make screening a useless tool in our tool bag. To extend what has been a robust discussion, this keynote will go in-depth into the concept of screening and explain some of the definitional issues that appear to fuel the heated debate. This address offers potential reasons why and how individual screening tests lack clinical utility, as well as what is needed to improve the value and efficiency of our instruments. This all leads up to the argument that screening can be important for to protect the health of an individual athlete, given some ground rules are needed and limitations exist.

The talk was given by Evert Verhagen from the University of Amsterdam.