Perception of injury risk in Muay Thai kickboxing Stephen J. Strotmeyer, Reidar P. Lystad Journal of Combat Sports and Martial Arts 2017; 8(1):7-11 ICID: 1238657
Article type: Original article
IC™ Value: 3.00
Abstract provided by Publisher
Background: Notwithstanding the important role risk perception may play in the occurrence and prevention of sports injuries, there is very limited empirical data pertaining to athletes in combat sports. Hence, the purpose of this study was to examine the injury risk perception among Muay Thai fighters. Material and methods: Muay Thai fighters completed an online survey in which they rated the perceived risk of injury in a range of different sports. Perceived comparative risk was obtained indirectly by subtracting perceived risk of injury to oneself from perceived risk of injury to a peer. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics, comparison of means, and ordinal logistic regression. Results: Muay Thai fighters perceived the risk of injury in their own sport to be significantly lower than that in other collision and contact sports, including popular combat sports such as boxing and mixed martial arts. On average, Muay Thai fighters perceived their own risk injury to be significantly lower compared to their peers (p < .001). Conclusions: There appears to be a mismatch between actual and perceived injury risk among Muay Thai fighters, who, moreover, exhibit a significant degree of comparative optimism. Because behaviour is determined by perceived rather than actual risk, underestimation of injury risk may lead to an increased frequency of injury. Future injury prevention strategies in combat sports such as Muay Thai kickboxing should consider educational- and psychosocial-based interventions that include efforts to correct erroneous beliefs and attitudes about actual risk of injury in the sport.