Aspetar, the orthopaedic and sports medicine hospital, has been re-accredited by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as an IOC Research Centre for Prevention of Injury and Protection of Athlete Health for the next four years, from 2019 to 2022.
The accreditation has been granted to 10 other highly qualified centres from around the globe.
Over the next four years, the 11 centres, including Aspetar, will be tasked with researching, developing and implementing effective preventive and treatment methods for sports-related injuries and illnesses. They will receive support from IOC and join an international network of expert scientists and clinicians in sports-injury and disease-prevention research, Aspetar has said in a statement.
Protecting athletes’ health and preventing injuries and illnesses in sport "are Aspetar’s top priorities", and the recognition of this "demonstrates that Aspetar’s clinical, educational and research expertise are world-leading in the field of injury and illness prevention for athletes", the statement notes.
Commenting on the re-accreditation, Aspetar director-general Mohamed al-Suwaidi, said: “We are delighted to be one of IOC’s 11 recognised research centres. It cements the hospital’s exceptional commitment to ensure athletes' safety, delivered by world-class medical care and services. This collaboration brings Aspetar a step closer towards our vision of being a global leader in sports medicine and exercise science by 2020.”
Established in 2009, the Athlete Screening Department at Aspetar currently screens sports people for medical conditions that may be detrimental to their general health and performance.
To date, more than 14,000 athletes have been examined. A further strength is its close research relationship with the Aspetar Sports Injury and Illness Prevention Programme (ASPREV).
Launched in November 2012, ASPREV has managed to establish a long-term research programme examining the possible relationship between medical musculoskeletal conditions and the prediction of future injury or illness, as well as a long-term surveillance programme (primarily in Qatar Stars League and volleyball) to collect and analyse data.
In setting up knowledge translation mechanisms to share scientific research results, Aspetar enables the implementation of injury and illness prevention strategies within the sporting clubs, allowing each club to compare their experience against benchmark data from Qatar Stars League and elsewhere. The outcome of these research partnerships has resulted in Aspetar publishing 699 peer-reviewed manuscripts since 2014.
Aspetar has also established a comprehensive educational programme based on four key pillars: continuing medical education/continuing professional development; student education; patient and community education; and the Centre for Evidence-Based Sports Medicine.