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Despite the events that occurred at the 2013 Boston Marathon (Boston, Massachusetts USA), there are currently no evidence-based guidelines or published data regarding medical and disaster preparedness of marathon races in the United States.
To determine the current state of medical disaster preparedness of marathons in the US and to identify potential areas for improvement.
A cross-sectional, questionnaire-based study was conducted from January through May of 2014. The questionnaire was distributed to race directors of US road and trail marathons, as identified by a comprehensive internet database.
One hundred twenty-three questionnaires were available for analysis (19% usable response rate). Marathon races from all major regions of the US were represented. Runner medical information was not listed on race bibs in 53% of races. Only 45% of races held group training and planning sessions prior to race day. Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) were immediately available on 50% of courses, and medications such as albuterol (30%), oxygen (33%), and IV fluids (34%) were available less frequently. Regarding medical emergencies, 55% of races did not have protocols for the assessment of dehydration, asthma, chest pain, syncope, or exercise-induced cramping. With regard to disaster preparedness, 50% of races did not have protocols for the management of disasters, and 21% did not provide security personnel at start/finish lines, aid stations, road crossings, and drop bag locations.
Areas for improvement in the preparedness of US marathons were identified, such as including printed medical information on race bibs, increasing pre-race training and planning sessions for volunteers, ensuring the immediate availability of certain emergency equipment and medications, and developing written protocols for specific emergencies and disasters.
GlickJRixeJASpurkelandNBradyJSilvisMOlympiaRP. Medical and Disaster Preparedness of US Marathons. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2015;30(4):1–7.
Four constructs are encompassed by the term “falls-related psychological concerns” (FrPC); “fear of falling” (FOF), “falls-related self-efficacy” (FSe), “balance confidence” (BC) and “outcome expectancy” (OE). FrPC are associated with negative consequences including physical, psychological, and social. Identifying factors associated with FrPC could inform interventions to reduce these concerns.
Sixty-two empirical papers relating to psychological factors associated with FrPC in community-dwelling older people (CDOP) were reviewed. Four levels of evidence were used when evaluating the literature: good, moderate, tentative, and none.
Evidence that anxiety predicted FOF, BC, and OE was tentative. Moderate evidence was found for anxiety predicting FSe. Good evidence was found for depression predicting FSe. Moderate evidence was found for depression predicting both FOF and BC. No evidence was found for depression predicting OE. Tentative evidence was found for FSe predicting depression. Good and moderate evidence was found for quality of life (QoL) being predicted by FOF and BC respectively. Tentative evidence was found for FSe predicting QoL. Moderate evidence was found for QoL predicting both FSe and BC. No evidence was found for QoL predicting FOF. Good and moderate evidence was found for activity avoidance/restriction (AA/AR) being predicted by FOF and FSe respectively. Tentative evidence was found for BC and OE predicting AA/AR, as well as for AA/AR predicting FOF. Moderate evidence for activity level (AL) predicting FOF was identified, however the evidence of this predicting FSe and BC was tentative. Evidence for FOF, FSe, and BC predicting AL was tentative as was evidence to suggest FOF predicted coping.
Mixed evidence has been found for the association of psychological factors in association with FrPCs. Future research should employ theoretically grounded concepts, use multivariate analysis and longitudinal designs.