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J Athl Train. 2019 Apr;54(4):361-373. doi: 10.4085/1062-6050-28-18. Epub 2019 Apr 24.

Analysis of States' Barriers to and Progress Toward Implementation of Health and Safety Policies for Secondary School Athletics.

Author information

1
Korey Stringer Institute, Department of Kinesiology, University of Connecticut, Storrs.
2
Department of Kinesiology, University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Implementation of health and safety best practices for the leading causes of sudden death and catastrophic injury has been shown to mitigate risk. However, to our knowledge, no authors have examined progress toward health and safety policy implementation at the state level.

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the progress made by state secondary school leaders in developing and implementing health and safety policies (ie, exertional heat stroke, sudden cardiac arrest, concussion, emergency action plans) and to explore perceived barriers to and strategies for implementation.

DESIGN:

Mixed-methods study.

SETTING:

State high school athletics associations and sports medicine advisory committees.

PATIENTS OR OTHER PARTICIPANTS:

Collaborative Solutions for Safety in Sport meeting attendees participated in this study. Thirty-five state leaders (current role experience = 8 ± 6 years) completed the survey. Ten of the 35 participated in follow-up interviews.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS:

A survey assessing progress on health and safety policy implementation was administered. Respondents indicated whether their state had implemented a policy, made progress without implementation, or made no progress. We conducted follow-up telephone interviews so they could expand on the survey responses. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and the general inductive approach.

RESULTS:

A total of 89% of respondents reported their states made progress on or implemented health and safety policies during the 2015-2016 academic year. Barriers to policy implementation included cost, a lack of understanding regarding policies versus recommendations, the content and value of policy change, and a false sense of security. Strategies for implementation included varying approaches to change, education of all constituents, and collaborative relationships among key stakeholders.

CONCLUSIONS:

Although a majority of respondents reported progress in implementing health and safety policies in their states, perceived barriers pointed to the need for the continued education of state leaders in charge of developing and implementing health and safety policies. Despite these barriers, collaboration among key stakeholders is crucial to successful implementation of best-practice policies in secondary school athletics.

KEYWORDS:

emergency best practices; emergency preparedness; risk mitigation; sudden death

PMID:
31017807
PMCID:
PMC6522091
[Available on 2020-04-01]
DOI:
10.4085/1062-6050-28-18
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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