Noncompliance with Cold Weather Medical Guidelines: Estimates of Frequency and Impact on Well-Being in Marine Corps Cold Weather Training.
NAVAL HEALTH RESEARCH CENTER SAN DIEGO CA
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Prior cold weather research suggests that noncompliance with medical guidelines contributes to illness in the cold. This study estimates rates of noncompliance for liquid consumption, nutrition, and foot care and provided initial assessments of the impact of each behavior on well-being. Marine volunteers n 161 described their behaviors and physical symptoms of illness during cold weather training. Because medical guidelines available from different sources often set different behavioral criteria, noncompliance estimates depended on the criterion selected. The range of noncompliance was 11 to 73 for liquid consumption and 16 to 41 for foot care 22 of the men consumed less than 3,000 calories per day compared to a guideline of 3,200. Liquid consumption and foot care were not related to well-being, but low frequency of consuming the main course, confections, and spreads in the rations was associated with 29 higher symptom reports. The absence of significant effects of foot care and liquid consumption on well-being may have been attributable to mild weather conditions andor brief periods in the field. The potential risks associated with noncompliance appear sufficient to merit further study to specify the conditions under which noncompliance results in impaired health and performance in the cold.
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