Is the Preparticipation Physical Examination Replacing the Annual Well Child Examination among Student Athletes?

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Abstract

Background: The goal of the preparticipation physical examination (PPE) is to promote health and safety during competition by screening athletes for injuries and illness. Historically it has been reported that the PPE may be the only medical evaluation that many student athletes receive. Our objective was to evaluate whether student athletes who have participated in our PPEs also receive routine well child care. In addition, we investigated parental perspectives regarding what should be included during the PPE. Methods: A 29-question survey was distributed to parents of student athletes during 6 PPE sessions sponsored and hosted at local school districts. Descriptive statistics were used to characterize and summarize the data set. Results: A total of 288 surveys were completed. All our student athletes had a primary care provider (100%), with the overwhelming majority of student athletes (90.9%) having both a well child examination and a PPE annually. Approximately 89% of parents believed that electrocardiograms prevented sudden cardiac death in sports. The majority of parents believed the PPE was an appropriate setting to discuss mental health and substance abuse. Conclusion: The majority of student athletes complete both a well child examination and a PPE annually. Parents believe screening electrocardiograms are effective in preventing sudden cardiac death and that the PPE can prevent injuries from occurring. Parents also believe the PPE can serve as an opportunity to discuss mental health and substance abuse, which is consistent with the most recent PPE monogram. An educational handout should be provided to parents regarding the goals of the PPE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20.298
JournalThe Permanente journal
Volume25
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine

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