Josh Kennedy

Supervisor: Jackie Whittaker

Project: Does fear of movement influence physical activity levels after a youth sport-related knee injury?


Edmonton, AB

Degree program:

Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology

What do you get to work on throughout your studentship?

My project is embedded within a larger ongoing prospective cohort study, meaning I am afforded many different opportunities. My personal project has me collecting data from our youth participants at data collection sessions, inputting that data into REDCap, managing and cleaning that data for statistical analysis, performing statistical analyses, and then interpreting that data. From these findings, I have been preparing a manuscript that will be ready for a journal submission at the end of the summer. Beyond my main project, I am co-authoring an editorial based on the questionnaire I am using in my study to assess fear of movement and assisting on an upcoming systematic review.

What has WCHRI's support through the Foundations for your studentship meant to you?

Without WCHRI and the generosity of the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation, I would not have been able to complete this research project. There is so much research that needs to be done, and so many questions that need to be answered, but far too often those are neglected, as funds are not available. WCHRI has afforded students like me the opportunity to not only add knowledge to the growing body of health research, but also gain experience that will benefit our own careers and the care that patients receive from us down the line. I am convinced that I will be a more competent evidence-based healthcare professional because of this research experience. It is a privilege to be funded and supported by WCHRI this summer, and I look forward to working with this organization again in the future.

Lay abstract:

Sport participation has important health benefits for school-aged children and adolescents. However, it is the leading cause of injury requiring medical attention amongst Canadian youth (11-18 years) with an alarming 33% (1,044,643 in 2016) seeking medical attention for these injuries annually. In Alberta, 40% of youth sport-related injuries involve the knee. Youth with a sport-related knee injury are at increased risk of being inactive compared to uninjured youth. Youth physical inactivity is concerning and increases the risk for obesity and multiple other diseases. Previous research has reported that adults with a greater “fear of movement” following a knee injury are less physically active. Fear of movement can be due to concerns about pain or re-injury. Currently, little is known about the relationship between fear of movement and physical activity in youth or in the first year following a youth sport-related knee injury. This research will assess the relationship between fear of movement and physical activity (including moderate-to-vigorous activity and sedentary time) of youth with a sport-related knee injury at three points (within 3-months, 6-months and 12-months) during the first year following injury in comparison to uninjured youth who are the same age, sex, and who play the same sport.