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International Research Consensus: Identifying Military Research Priorities and Gaps

Hydren, Jay R.; Zambraski, Edward J.

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: November 2015 - Volume 29 - Issue - p S24–S27
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001084
Research Note

Abstract: Hydren, JR and Zambraski, EJ. International research consensus: Identifying military research priorities and gaps. J Strength Cond Res 29(11S): S24–S27, 2015—A multidisciplinary survey was administered to military performance researchers attending the Third International Conference on Soldier Physical Performance to obtain their opinions of the priority levels and importance of research topics related to soldier health and determinants of soldier physical performance. Respondents included 140 individuals from 22 different countries, of which 96% had at least a graduate degree and 79% were associated with a military organization. The top 5 highest importance/priority research topics were (a) physical demands in operational environments, (b) measuring physical performance/fitness, (c) musculoskeletal injury mitigation programs, (d) physical employment standards, and (e) physical strength-training programs. Of what individuals thought were their most important topics, 50% reported these were not currently being researched because of higher priorities, insufficient funding, or the lack of scientific expertise. A theme analysis of research-topic areas that were important and not being researched indicated that physical employment standards and physical training studies related to soldiers' health and performance are knowledge gaps. Although these experienced researchers had diverse backgrounds and were working on a wide array of research topics, there was a surprisingly clear consensus on what they thought were important topics that needed to be addressed in common between countries or militaries.

U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Military Performance Division, Natick, Massachusetts

Address correspondence to Jay R. Hydren, jayhydren@gmail.com.

Copyright © 2015 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.