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Counseling for the Wilderness Athlete and Adventurer During a Preparticipation Evaluation for Preparation, Safety, and Injury Prevention

Young, Justin Mark J. MD*; Campbell, Aaron D. MD, MHS; Raastad, Kate K. BS

Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine: September 2015 - Volume 25 - Issue 5 - p 456–460
doi: 10.1097/JSM.0000000000000250
Care of the Wilderness Athlete

Abstract: Wilderness sports and adventures continue to increase in popularity. Counseling is an essential element of the preparticipation evaluation (PPE) for athletes in traditional sports. This approach can be applied to and augmented for the wilderness athlete and adventurer. The authors reviewed the literature on counseling during PPEs and gathered expert opinion from medical professionals who perform such PPEs for wilderness sports enthusiasts. The objective was to present findings of this review and make recommendations on the counseling component of a wilderness sports/adventure PPE. The counseling component of a PPE for wilderness sports/adventures should take place after a basic medical evaluation, and include a discussion on sport or activity-specific injury prevention, personal health, travel recommendations, and emergency event planning. Counseling should be individualized and thorough, and involve shared decision making. This should take place early enough to allow ample time for the athlete or adventurer to further prepare as needed based on the recommendations. Resources may be recommended for individuals desiring more information on selected topics.

*Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, Division of Sports Medicine, University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine, Honolulu, Hawaii;

Family and Preventive Medicine and Sports Medicine, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah; and

University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Corresponding Author: Justin Mark J. Young, MD, Straub Clinic & Hospital, 888 S. King St, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813 (

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

This article appears in a “Care of the Wilderness and Adventure Athlete” special issue, jointly published by Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine and Wilderness & Environmental Medicine.

Received February 23, 2015

Accepted June 30, 2015

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