JOURNAL ARTICLE

State-specific differences in school sports preparticipation physical evaluation policies

Shane V Caswell, Nelson Cortes, Mary Chabolla, Jatin P Ambegaonkar, Amanda M Caswell, Joel S Brenner
Pediatrics 2015, 135 (1): 26-32
25535257

OBJECTIVE: This study evaluated the current preparticipation physical evaluation (PPE) administrative policies and cardiovascular screening content of all 50 states and Washington, DC.

METHODS: PPE policies, documents, and forms from all 50 states and Washington, DC, were compared with the preparticipation physical evaluation-fourth edition (PPE-4) consensus recommendations. All electronic documents were publicly available and obtained from state interscholastic athletic associations.

RESULTS: Fifty (98%) states required a PPE before participation. Most states (53%, n = 27) required a specific PPE form, whereas 24% (n = 12) of states recommended a specific form. Twenty-three states (45%) required or recommended use of the PPE-4 form or a modified version of it, and 27 states (53%) required or recommended use of outdated or unidentifiable forms. Ten states (20%) had not revised their PPE forms in >5 years. States permitted 9 different health care providers to administer PPEs. Only 22 states (43%) addressed all 12 of the PPE-4 personal and family history cardiovascular screening items, and 2 states (4%) addressed between 8 and 11 items. For the remaining 26 states, most (29%) addressed ≤3 screening items.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that inconsistencies in PPE policies exist nationwide. Most states have been slow to adopt PPE-4 recommendations and do not adequately address the personal and family cardiovascular history questions. Findings suggest a need for PPE standardization nationwide and adoption of an electronic PPE process. This approach would enable creation of a national database and benefit the public by facilitating a more evidenced PPE.

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