Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center

Main content of the page

Information about a piece of news titled Arnhild Bakken: New PhD on benefits of screening in professional sports

Arnhild Bakken: New PhD on benefits of screening in professional sports


On August 23, PhD-student Arnhild Bakken will defend her PhD-thesis at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences on the following topic: "The benefits of periodic health evaluation in professional football - a focus on musculoskeletal screening".

News main picture

As a physiotherapist, Arnhild has a broad clinical experience from Scotland (2003-2006) and Norway with a special interest in treatment and rehabilitation after orthopaedic surgeries. During her time as a PhD student at Aspetar Hospital in Qatar, Arnhild was highly involved in screening and testing of athletes in Qatar. 

A periodic health evaluation (PHE) or screening examination is a widely used method to detect and manage health problems and to identify athletes at risk with a view to implementing targeted prevention measures. However, the efficacy of PHE in detecting serious risk factors and health conditions is being questioned.

The overall aim of this PhD-work was to investigate the benefits of PHE in professional football with a focus on the musculoskeletal screening.

Looking at more than 550 professional male football players from the Qatar Stars League, a comprehensive screening battery (general medical, musculoskeletal, and cardiovascular screening with 12-lead ECG and echocardiography) detected some sort of current health conditions for 95% of the players. These findings are believed to be relevant for health and performance upon treatment or further investigations. In the case of musculoskeletal screening, the results suggest that screening has limited (or no) value as a method of identifying athletes at risk of future lower extremity injury, because of the low predictive ability of the screening tests.

Professors Roald Bahr, Karim Khan and Erik Witvrouw served as supervisors for Arnhild. 

Read more about Arnhild´s projects.


Program for August 23 (Place: Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo)

10:15-11:00: Trial lecture on "Treatment and prognosis of muscle injuries: the value of results from functional testing"

13:00-15:30: PhD defense


1. opponent: Prof Dr med Tim Meyer, Saarland University, Saarbrücken, Germany

2. opponent: Prof Nicola Phillips, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK

Head: Assistant professor Trine Stensrud, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Norway

Trial lecture and PhD defense will be held in English and are open for public. WELCOME