The effectiveness of helmet wear in skiers and snowboarders: a systematic review
One article on PainSci cites Cusimano 2010: The Complete Guide to Neck Pain & Cricks
PainSci notes on Cusimano 2010:
Ten scientific studies were analyzed and the authors concluded: “There is strong evidence to support the protective value of helmets in reducing the risk of head injuries in skiing and snowboarding” and “there is no good evidence to support the claim that the use of helmets leads to an increase risk of cervical spine injuries or neck injuries.”
original abstract †Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.
OBJECTIVE: To summarise the best available evidence to determine the impact of helmet use on head injuries, neck injuries and cervical spine injuries in skiers and snowboarders.
DATA SOURCES: Relevant publications were identified through electronic searches of MEDLINE, PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL and the Cochrane Library databases (1966-2009) in addition to manual reference checks of all included articles.
REVIEW METHODS: 45 articles were identified through our systematic literature search. Of these, 10 studies met the inclusion criteria after two levels of screening. Two independent reviewers critically appraised the studies. Data were extracted on the primary outcomes of interest: head injury, neck injury and cervical spine injury. Studies were assessed for quality by the criteria of Downs and Black.
RESULTS: Studies reviewed indicate that helmet wear reduces the risk of head injuries in skiing and snowboarding. Four case-control studies reported a reduction in the risk of head injury with helmet use ranging from 15% to 60%. Another cohort study found a significantly lower incidence of head injuries involving loss of consciousness in helmet users (p<0.05). The five remaining studies suggested a major protective effect of helmets by indicating that none or few of the head-injured and deceased participants wore a helmet.
CONCLUSIONS: There is strong evidence to support the protective value of helmets in reducing the risk of head injuries in skiing and snowboarding. There is no good evidence to support the claim that the use of helmets leads to an increase risk of cervical spine injuries or neck injuries.
This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights:
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