Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center

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Information about project titled 'Methods, challenges and benefits of a health monitoring program'

Methods, challenges and benefits of a health monitoring program

Details about the project - category Details about the project - value
Project status: Published
Project manager: Ben Clarsen
Supervisor(s): Roald Bahr
Coworker(s): Hilde Moseby Berge, Kathrin Steffen, Lars Haugvad


The objective was to describe the implementation of a health monitoring program for Norwegian Paralympic and Olympic candidates over 5 consecutive Olympic and Paralympic Games cycles - from London 2012, Sochi 2014, Rio de Janeiro 2016, PyeongChang 2018 to Tokyo 2020. 

Athletes were monitored for 12–18 months preparing for the games using a weekly online questionnaire (OSTRC-H2) with follow- up by physicians and physiotherapists, who provided clinical care and classified reported problems.

Between 2011 and 2020, 533 Olympic and 95 Paralympic athletes were included in the monitoring programme, with an overall response of 79% to the weekly questionnaire and a total observation period of 30 826 athlete weeks. During this time, 3770 health problems were reported, with a diagnosis rate of 97%. The average prevalence of health problems at any given time was 32% among Olympic athletes and 37% among Paralympic athletes. Acute traumatic injuries represented the greatest burden for Olympic team sport athletes, and illnesses represented the greatest burden for Olympic endurance and Paralympic athletes. On average, Olympic athletes lost 27 days and Paralympic athletes lost 33 days of training per year due to health problems. 

Conducting long- term health monitoring of Olympic and Paralympic athletes is challenging, particularly because athletes travel frequently and often relate to many medical providers. This program has been implemented and improved within Team Norway for  Olympic and Paralympic Games cycles and during this time, we believe it has helped protect our athletes’ health.