Rugby Health Research Underway

Project

Rugby Health

Lead Researcher

Dr Martin Raftery, Chief Medical Officer, International Rugby Board (IRB), Dr Ken Quarrie, Senior Scientist (Injury & Performance), New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU), Prof Patria Hume, Professor Human Performance, Sports Research Institute New Zealand (SPRINZ) & Prof Stephen Marshall, Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina, USA. , see full list below

Organisation(s)

IRB, NZRU, AUT, UNC

Contacts

For further information contact:

 

Freephone: 0800 AUT RUGBY (0800 288 784)

 

Serene Lorimer

SPRINZ SKIPP Research Administrator

 

Email: rugbyhealth@aut.ac.nz

 

Phone: (09) 921 9999 ext 5182

 

 

Ruth Naidoo

SPRINZ Research Administrator

 

Email: rugbyhealth@aut.ac.nz

 

Phone: (09) 921 9999 ext 7848

webpage: www.rugbyhealth.co.nz

 

Description of Project

The Rugby Health project was officially opened by Jeff Wilson (NZ double international All Black and Black Cap) on 26th October 2012, via RadioLive Sport announcement.

 

Players who are interested in participating can express interest on the Participant Recruitment Page:

http://www.sprinz.aut.ac.nz/our-research/rugby-health/participant-recruitment

 

All participants will be entered into the prize draw for $1000 worth of All Black game tickets, flights and accommodation for two people.

 

The draw will take place at the end of the data collection phase of the study (i.e. when 600 players have participated).

 

For more information please contact the project administrators Serene Lorimer or Ruth Naidoo at rugbyhealth@aut.ac.nz or via 0800 AUT Rugby (0800 288 784).

 

The researchers are looking for:

 

1.Former All Blacks aged between 35 and 55.

2.Former Black Caps aged between 35 and 55.

3.Former club rugby players aged between 35 and 55.

4.Former club cricket players aged between 35 and 55.

5.People who were involved in the Rugby Injury Prevention and Performance (RIPP) study in Dunedin in 1993.

 

6. We are looking for retired players only, players still involved in playing rugby are not required to participate in this research.

 

The project has been approved by AUT University ethics committee (Ref # 12/252), which is a standard research procedure, and ensures that the research is conducted to high standards and that players’ confidentiality and respect is maintained at all times. 

 

Why we are conducting this study?

 

The International Rugby Board (IRB) has commissioned this research in collaboration with the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU). NZRU in the media release for the project launch on Thursday 2nd August 2012 stated that “player safety and welfare is paramount – we want to protect the health of our athletes over the short and long term. This study underlines the fact that we take our responsibilities around player safety seriously. We are not saying there is a problem or a definite link between rugby and long term health issues, but what we are doing is taking steps to find out. This is being responsible and prudent. This is not just a matter for rugby but for all of sport.” There is concern that concussion in particular may lead to long term health outcomes that need to be addressed.

 

What does this study aim to determine?

 

The aim of the project is to investigate the long-term effects of rugby on neuropsychological function, general health and balance capability in retired international/national and community level rugby union players from New Zealand in comparison with age-matched controls. Comparisons will be made between levels of play for rugby union, plus comparisons between rugby union players and other non-contact sport players such as cricket players.

 

Who are the organisations involved in conducting the research?

 

The project involves the International Rugby Board (IRB), New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU), the AUT University Sports Performance Research Institute New Zealand (SPRINZ), the AUT University Health Rehabilitation Research Institute (HRRI), the AUT University National Institute for Stroke and Applied Neuroscience (NISAN), the University of Otago Injury Prevention Research Unit (IPRU) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The New Zealand Rugby Union Players Association and New Zealand Cricket Players Association endorse the project and are helping with promotion of the study and recruitment of players.

 

Who are the players who we want to participate in the study?

 

There will be four groups of players all between 35-55 years old:

 

Group 1: Retired international/national rugby union players from New Zealand (e.g. All Blacks/Super Rugby players).

 

Group 2: Retired community rugby union players from New Zealand.

 

Group 3: Retired community rugby union players originally in the “Rugby Injury Prevention and Performance” (RIPP) study conducted by the University of Otago in 1993.

 

Group 4: Retired national/international and community non-contact sports players from New Zealand (e.g. Cricketers).

 

 

What does the study involve for players who volunteer to participate?

 

The study has five parts with players able to complete all parts or choose to complete only some of the parts:

  

Part A Rugby-Health: Neuropsychological health:

 

What is the neuropsychological health status of retired rugby athletes compared with retired non-contact sport athletes?

 

On-line data acquisition of 600+ players from participant groups 1-4 using a self-administered computerised neurocognitive tool. The core tests in the CNS will be verbal memory, visual memory, symbol digit coding, stroop test, shifting attention and continuous performance test. These tests take approximately 30 mins and will give us measures of visual and verbal memory, information processing speed, attention, reaction time and executive function and cognitive flexibility domains.

 

 

Part B Rugby-Health: General health:

 

What is the general health status of retired rugby athletes compared with retired non-contact sport athletes?

 

On-line data acquisition of 600+ players from participant groups 1-4 using a questionnaire with sections on medical health, joint and bone health, mental health, alcohol and drugs and social relationships. The questionnaire should take approximately 30 mins to complete.

 

Part C Rugby-Health: Balance

 

What is the balance status of retired rugby athletes compared with retired non-contact sport athletes?

 

Clinic based data acquisition from 25 players each from participant groups 1, 2&3 (combined), and 4 ( i.e. a total of 75 players) using the Equitest balance device. Testing will take 30 minutes and will be at the AUT University Akoranga campus in Northcote, Auckland.

 

Part D Rugby-Health: Brain corticomotor excitability

What is the corticomotor excitability status of retired rugby athletes compared with retired non-contact sport athletes?

 

Clinic based data acquisition from 25 players each from participant groups 1, 2&3 (combined), and 4 (i.e. a total of 75) players using the transcranial magnetic stimulation device to measure brain corticomotor excitability. Testing will take 90 minutes and will be at the AUT University Akoranga Campus in Northcote, Auckland.

 

Who are the people involved in conducting the research?

 

 

Dr Martin Raftery (lead investigator)

Chief Medical Officer, International Rugby Board (IRB).

 

Dr Ken Quarrie (lead investigator)

Senior Scientist (Injury Prevention and Performance), New Zealand Rugby Union.

 

Professor Patria Hume (lead investigator)

Professor, Human Performance, Sports Performance Research Institute New Zealand, AUT University.

 

Professor Stephen Marshall (lead investigator)

Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina (UNC), USA.

 

Dr Alice Theadom

Senior Research Fellow, National Institute for Stroke and applied Neuroscience (NISAN), AUT University.

 

Dr Melissa Purnell

Research Fellow, Injury Prevention Research Unit (IPRU), Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago.

 

Associate Professor Denise Taylor

Neurological Rehabilitation Team, Health and Rehabilitation Research Institute (HRRI), AUT University.

 

Dr Matt Brughelli

Lecturer, Exercise Science, Sports Performance Research Institute New Zealand, AUT University.

 

Dr Gwyn Lewis

Senior Lecturer in Physiotherapy, AUT University.

 

Liz Binns

Senior Research Officer, Neurological Rehabilitation Team, Health and Rehabilitation Research Institute (HRRI), AUT University.

 

Research Assistants

Scott Brown

PhD Candidate, Sports Performance Research Institute New Zealand, AUT University.

 

Verna Stavric

Lecturer, Physiotherapy, AUT University.

 

Scott Winton (AUT Media)

 

Communications Advisor, Marketing, AUT University.

 

Email: scott.winton@aut.ac.nz

 

 

 

Keywords:

 

Timeframe:

26/10/2012 - tbc

Areas of Focus

Population Groups

Settings (location)

Provision (delivery type & infrastructure)

Topics

Sport and Recreation Types

Views

2419

Added

December 17, 2012

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