A narrative review of the risk factors and psychological consequences of injury in horseracing stable staff

Emma Davies, Will McConn-Palfreymann, J. M. Williams, Geoff Lovell

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Abstract

Horseracing stable staff have a multifaceted role, acting as care givers, skilled athletes and equine experts, resulting in inherent high emotional, physical and mental demands. Despite these demands, and reports of significant injury risk to those working in racing at ground level, there has been no research investigating the psychological risk factors for injury in UK racing stable staff and how psychological responses to injury may affect long term mental health and wellbeing. With mental health at the forefront of industry consideration, this narrative review aimed to reflect on the current literature to propose occupational, life and social stressors that may be increasing the risk of injury in racing staff. In addition, this review aims to apply current injury theory to propose whether stable staff are at heightened risk of injury mismanagement. A literature search was undertaken to investigate the psychological aspects of injury, using five search engines and the following key words: injury, psychological responses, occupational, sport and/or athlete, equestrian, horseracing, jockey, risk of injury, rehabilitation, and injury minimisalisation. Articles were selected based on relevance to review aims, and research findings were synthesised under two primary areas: predictors of injury (working hours, job security, job control, life stressors, mental health and drug misuse) and responses to injury (positive and negative responses to injury, the role of social support, rehabilitation adherence, and injury minimalisation). Whilst there are limitations to narrative reviews, this study provides a novel interpretation of injury risk and responses specific to staff working in horseracing, where injury-related challenges are currently a key focus for sector employees, managerial staff and racing organisations. Recommendations for further research have been made to direct the advancement of knowledge in the field.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-317
Number of pages15
JournalComparative Exercise Physiology
Volume17
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2021

Keywords

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Veterinary (miscalleneous)

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