EFFECT OF AN INJURY PREVENTION CLASS ON THE INCIDENCE OF INJURY IN US ARMY ROTC CADETS
Kinesiology & Recreation
Kinesiology & Recreation
Introduction: Musculoskeletal injuries are the leading health concern for the United States Army. These injuries are the third leading cause of hospitalizations for Army service members and the primary cause for the majority of service-connect disability discharges. Over 80% of musculoskeletal injuries are overuse injuries caused by physical training. The Joint Services Physical Training Injury Prevention Work Group considers education to be a mandatory component of all injury prevention efforts; however, little military research has investigated the impact of education as a primary intervention. Objective: To examine the effect of an injury prevention education class on the incidence of injuries in Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) cadets. Methods: A quasi-experimental study design using a historic control group. Seventy-nine ROTC cadets (age: 20±2 years, body mass: 73.57±12.60 kg, height: 172.88±9.50 cm) during the Fall 2018 academic semester provided informed consent to participate in the study. Cadets within the same program from the previous fall semester served as the historic control group. A one hour and 15-minute injury prevention class covering physiology of overuse injuries, common risk factors, and recommended interventions was taught to the cadets at the start of the semester. A second, 45-minute class on modifications to physical training was taught to those cadets in leadership roles. Injury data on any cadets that suffered an injury during both semesters were collected from athletic trainers working with the ROTC program. Results: No change in the number of injuries existed between the control and intervention groups. Chi square tests of independence were performed between the two groups based on the nominal categories of body region injured, sex of the injured cadet, and whether the injury was caused by acute or cumulative trauma. No statistical significance between the groups was found based on body region injured (χ2 (9) = 9.38, p = 0.403) or sex (χ2 (1) = 2.78, p = 0.095). A statistically significant difference existed between the two groups based on the type of injury (χ2 (1) = 3.89, p = 0.049). Conclusion: The results of this study demonstrated no impact of injury prevention education as the sole intervention on the incidence of injuries in ROTC cadets. This corroborates previous research suggesting that education is effective as a component of a multi-factorial intervention but not as the sole intervention. Unexpectedly, a shift in primarily overuse injuries to primarily acute injuries did occur, warranting further research on this topic.
Wooldridge, Joshua, "EFFECT OF AN INJURY PREVENTION CLASS ON THE INCIDENCE OF INJURY IN US ARMY ROTC CADETS" (2019). University Research Symposium. 222.