NATA Now

January 14, 2015 by NATA Admin

In the results from a study conducted by researchers at George Mason University are finding that outdated patient forms may be hindering the ability of health care providers to monitor or discover medical conditions that can lead to cardiac arrest or sudden death in sports.

Led by Professor Shane Caswell, PhD, ATC, the research team included three other GMU faculty members and a graduate student; their findings were published in this month’s edition of Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Entitled “State-Specific Differences in School Sports Preparticipation Physical Evaluation (PPE) Policies,” the study found that “while 98 percent of states require a physical exam before sports participation, 53 percent of the states use outdated or generic forms,” according to the GMU news release. Newer forms that include more specific information, such as questions about the athlete’s family and cardiac history, can help increase detection of rare cardiac abnormalities that can lead to sudden death in athletes.

One solution suggested by Caswell and his team was a nationwide standardized PPE form that is also available in electronic format.

The team plans to follow up this research with another study which will evaluate physical exams for athletes in private schools and recreational leagues.

Posted by Jaimie Siegle, NATA News Managing Editor (jaimies@nata.org)