Randomised controlled trials (RCTs), non-RCTs, and quasi-experimental studies that assessed the use of external ankle supports, in adolescent or adult elite or recreational players, were eligible for inclusion. Ankle supports were defined as any type of ankle tape, brace, or orthosis aimed at preventing injury. Participants could have a previous sporting injury or no history of ankle injury. Studies on people with other musculoskeletal injuries or after surgery were excluded. The outcomes of interest were the incidence of ankle sprain, adverse effects, and the severity of ankle ligament injury.
The included studies were on male or female basketball, football, or volleyball players, some of whom had a previous ankle injury. Treatments were prophylactic taping, semi-rigid orthosis, and lace-up and flexible braces; comparators were a prevention programme, proprioceptive training, or no treatment. The duration of most studies was one sports season; in one it was two years.
The authors did not state how studies were selected for the review.