Screening Tools as a Predictor of Injury in Dance: Systematic Literature Review and Meta-analysis

Ross Armstrong, Nicola Relph

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Dance involves movements of complexity and physical intensity which result in stress on the body. As a consequence, dancers are at risk of injury which can impact on their well-being. Screening tools are used for injury prevention to identify those dancers at risk of injury. The aim of this study was to investigate which screening tools can predict injury in dancers, encompassing all dance genres, levels and ages. Methods: An electronic search of seven databases from their inception to December 2017 was conducted. The databases were the Allied and Complementary Medicine Database (AMED), CINAHL, eBOOK Collection (EBSCOhost), MEDLINE, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, SPORTDiscus and PEDro: the Physiotherapy Evidence Base. The following search terms were used: (i) Dance AND injury AND Screening, (ii) Screening AND dance and (iii) Musculoskeletal AND Screening AND Dance. Studies were assessed using a 20-point scoring tool, and eligible studies were included in a meta-analysis. Results: The mean methodological quality score was 12.2 points. Injured dancers had a significantly higher compensated turnout range of motion than non-injured dancers: pooled mean difference of compensated turnout (23.29°; 95% CI 14.85–31.73; P < 0.00001; I 2 = 0%). Injured dancers had significantly greater functional turnout range of motion when compared to non-injured dancers: pooled mean difference of functional turnout (14.08°; 95% CI 7.09–21.07; P < 0.0001; I 2 = 0%). There also some evidence for use of hip range of motion as a predictor of dance injury. Conclusions: Some evidence exists for the potential use of dance-specific positions as a predictor of injury. A number of studies were limited by a lack of prospective injury design, injury definition and self-reporting of injury.

Original languageEnglish
Article number33
JournalSports Medicine
Issue number1
Early online date18 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018


  • Compensated turnout
  • Dancers
  • Functional turnout
  • Hip range of motion
  • Injury prevention
  • Injury risk
  • Musculoskeletal
  • Screening tool


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