Original Research

The Preparticipation Evaluation for Athletes with Disability

Authors: Hawkeswood JP, O’Connor E, Anton H, Finlayson H

Athletes are routinely assessed medically prior to competition.   Although standardized preparticipation examinations (PPEs) are available for able-bodied athletes, the literature lacks any validated equivalent for the athlete with disability (AWD). Since participation and level of competition is increasing in this population, evidence-based tools such as a standardized PPE form should be available for health professionals to assess the health and safety of the AWD. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to develop an AWD-targeted standardized preparticipation history evaluation (PPE history) using consensus-based expert recommendations. Consensus was reached on a variety of AWD-specific PPE items, using the Dephi methodology, including the disability-related history and functional review. Equipment issues represent a complex area of evaluation, worthy of future research and discussion.  The current proposed PPE history tool is considered comprehensive and ready for application in a clinical setting as an adjunct to existing PPE tools.   Injury research in the AWD population will provide guidance for refinement and further validation of this PPE history document.

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