198497 Assessing the validity of self-reported injury history among U.S. military personnel

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Mita Lovalekar, MBBS, PhD, MPH , Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
John P. Abt, PhD, ATC , Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Timothy C. Sell, PhD, PT , Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Scott M. Lephart, PhD, ATC , Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Karen Keenan, MS, ATC , Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Anthony John House, MS, ATC , Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Anthony C. Zimmer, ATC , Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Greg D. Hovey, MS, CSCS , Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Purpose: The aim of this analysis was to determine the validity of self-report as a source of injury history information among a sample of U.S. military personnel, and assess if certain types of injuries are more represented in self-reports.

Methods: The retrospective self-reported injury history information of 45 military personnel was compared to prospectively collected information in their medical record. Injuries were identified and matched by anatomic location, type, cause and activity when injury occurred.

Results: A total of 116 injuries were self-reported (mean per person SD = 2.6 3.0); of these 64 (55.2 %) were recorded in the medical record. Twenty-three (51.1 %) of the military personnel did not report any injuries in the self-report. The most common injury types in the self-report were strain (26/116, 22.4 % of total self-reported injuries), fracture (22/116, 19.0 %), sprain (14/116, 12.1 %) and back pain (14/116, 12.1 %). A comparison between injuries in the self-report and those in the medical record showed that agreement was highest for overuse injuries (15/19, 79.0 %), followed by back pain (8/14, 57.1 %), sprain (8/14, 57.1 %), fractures (11/22, 50.0 %) and strain (12/26, 46.2 %). Eighty-nine injuries were recorded only in the medical record (mean per person SD = 2.0 2.2).

Conclusions: The validity of self-report was generally low, and varied with the type and cause of injury. This underscores the importance of using multiple sources of injury reporting to get an accurate estimate of injury occurrence in military personnel.

Learning Objectives:
1. Evaluate the limitations of using self-report as a source of injury history information among military personnel. 2. Identify injuries that have a greater degree of agreement between self-report and medical record. 3. Identify methods to improve the accuracy of injury history information among military personnel.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a doctoral degree in epidemiology, and research experience in injury surveillance, injury prevention and injury epidemiology.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.