Cumulative effects of occupational loading as a risk factor for hip pain in UK military personnel: Study Protocol of a Case Control Study

Russell J Coppack, James Bilzon, Andrew K. Wills, Ian M. McCurdie, Daniel Walton, Alastair M. Nicol, Alexander N. Bennett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: High rates of hip Osteoarthritis (OA) have been reported in occupational sub-groups exposed to prolonged and strenuous physical activity levels. The military population is particularly at risk given the demands inherent to this population. Despite the burden associated with non-arthritic hip complaints and OA there is a dearth of published data investigating the pre-disposing risk factors in military populations. The purpose of this article is to describe the protocol and methodology for a case-control study examining the influence of occupational and demographic factors associated with physician-diagnosed non-arthritic hip pain among active UK military personnel.

Methods/Design: The study design is a population based case-control study. Cases (n = 100) will be recruited from patients referred with hip pain to the Defense Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC) Headley Court, UK. Age-matched controls (n = 400) will be randomly selected from the entire UK military population. Information on pre-enlistment activity levels, military branch titles, exposure to occupational physical stress, exposure on deployed operations, sports participation and other individual risk factors will be collected and evaluated using a standardized questionnaire. The test-retest reliability and internal consistency of the study questionnaire in a military population will be assessed with a sample of healthy male military permanent staff (n = 50) from DMRC Headley Court.

Discussion: This case-control study will provide the first estimates of the risks associated with occupational factors and the onset of non-arthritic hip pain in UK military personnel. If aspects of specific occupational activities and tasks contribute to the occurrence of hip pain it will inform future prevention strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Sports and Exercise Medicine
Issue number3
Early online date12 Jun 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Jun 2017


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