Disqualifying criteria in a preparticipation sports evaluation

S F Rifat, M T Ruffin, D W Gorenflo
Journal of Family Practice 1995, 41 (1): 42-50

BACKGROUND: This study was undertaken to demonstrate the relative frequency of disqualifying criteria in a complete history and physical sports examination.

METHODS: A review was conducted of 2574 preparticipation physical evaluations (PPEs) performed on 11- to 18-year-old student athletes to determine which factors are associated with denial of unrestricted sports participation.

RESULTS: Eighty-five percent of the student athletes passed the screening. Of those who did not, the denial decision was based on the medical history alone in 58% of cases (P < .05). A logistic regression analysis identified seven items associated with denial: dizziness with exercise, history of asthma, body mass index, systolic blood pressure, visual acuity, heart murmur, and musculoskeletal examination.

CONCLUSIONS: Although physicians often take a complete history and perform physical examinations, relatively few variables appear related to denial of eligibility for participation in organized sports. The history is one of the most important aspects of the PPE. A directed PPE may be more efficient, thereby allowing more time to address other important issues.

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