Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Effects of prevention programmes on injury risk in military personnel: a systematic review with meta-analysis


Introduction Exercise programmes have been used to prevent injuries in military personnel, as they can reduce modifiable risk factors for injuries. Our aim was to review the literature to evaluate the effects of different exercise protocols on the prevention of injuries in military personnel.

Methods A systematic literature review examined the effects of different exercise protocols on the prevention of musculoskeletal injuries in the military. Several databases were explored to find experimental studies that investigated the effects of prevention programmes on the risk of injury. We have extracted from the studies: profile of participants, sample size, study design and characteristics of the control group (CG), the type of intervention and the relative risk (RR) in the experimental group and CG, with their significance levels. For data analysis, we used the RevMan V.5.3 software. The measure of RR was investigated. The risk of publication bias was analysed with Begg’s test.

Results A total of 13 694 titles and studies were recovered from the databases and by manual search. After the removal of duplicate titles and studies that did not meet the eligibility criteria, 17 studies were selected. The protocols were composed of neuromuscular training, stretching, agility training or combined exercises. The meta-analysis showed that injury prevention exercise programmes reduced the risk of musculoskeletal injuries in military personnel by 14% (RR=0.86; 95% CI=0.76 to 0.98).

Conclusion Injury prevention exercise programmes promoted a slight reduction in the risk of musculoskeletal injuries in military personnel.

Level of evidence Very low.

Trial registration number CRD 42017077946.

  • medical physics
  • occupational & industrial medicine
  • musculoskeletal disorders

Data availability statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information. Not applicable.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.