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Evaluation of Student Injuries at the Sergeants Major Course (SMC), Fort Bliss, Texas, August 2013-May 2014

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Technical Report,01 Aug 2013,31 May 2014

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Army Public Health Center Aberdeen Proving Ground United States

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Two years after the closing of the Army Physical Fitness Research Institute, an active duty Army physical therapist was once again assigned to serve the Army Sergeants Major Academy SMA students. Purpose To evaluate the effects of an on-site physical therapist on injuries and physical fitness of Sergeants Major Course SMC students and assess risk factors for injury among the SMC students. Methods Injury risk factors, physical fitness, and injury data were collected by survey from a SMC class with a physical therapist, Class 64, in September 2013 and May 2014. SMC Class 63 did not have a dedicated, on-site physical therapist PT, so was used for comparison. For both classes, rosters and electronic APFT results were obtained from the SMA and medical records were obtained from the Defense Medical Surveillance System DMSS. Semi-structured interviews with the SMC physical therapist provided initial program background and intent, and follow-up details of the program implementation, strengths, weaknesses, and next steps. Results A total of 406 students in Class 64 took both surveys 77 percent. Most students who took both surveys were male 89 , over age 40 62 , Army 93 and active duty 90 . APFT run times and BMI did not change during SMC attendance, while APFT sit-up and push-up performance increased by 2 to 3 repetitions. The proportion of students treated for injury during the SMC for Class 64 was slightly higher than Class 63 70 vs. 64 , p0.07. The incidence of lower extremity injury medical encounters was statistically significantly higher in Class 64 57 vs. 50 , p0.02. Nearly half of all SMC students in Class 64 had seen the SMC physical therapist and 46 percent of those who had seen the physical therapist stated they would not have sought physical therapist care if she had not been co-located at the school. Conclusions Based on this evaluation of the short-term effects on injury and fitness, we... cont.

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