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Preparticipation Sports Physicals

A Comparison of Single Provider and Station-Based Models

Lick, David, MD, MBA; Abdel-Aty, Karim, MD; Diaz, Daniel, DO; Dulku, Jaspaul, MD; Lochub, Sandeep, MD; Mir, Kamran, MD; Ricketts, Robert, DO, MPH

Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine: November 2018 - Volume 28 - Issue 6 - p 530–532
doi: 10.1097/JSM.0000000000000473
Original Research

Background: Preparticipation physical examinations (PPEs) are required for children and adolescents before sports participation to identify at-risk athletes. These evaluations can be completed in a traditional office-based setting or in a station-based format. It is unclear if one format is superior to the other in identifying at-risk athletes.

Methods: We performed a retrospective chart review of children and adolescents between the ages 10 and 18 years who received their PPE in our office or in a station-based setting in a local high school between the years 2009 and 2015.

Results: We reviewed 2934 PPEs total, 1136 in the office-based format and 1798 in the station-based setting. A similar proportion of athletes were excluded or required further evaluation before participation in the office compared with the station-based setting (4.84% vs 5.67%). No statistically significant associations were seen between site of PPE or athlete sex and rate of clearance. There was, however, a statistically significant association between PPE site and reason for exclusion (P = 0.0456) with higher rates of exclusion for vision-related issues in the station-based setting and higher rates of exclusion for musculoskeletal or cardiopulmonary reasons in the office-based setting.

Conclusion: When conducted by the same examiners, the office-based and team-based PPE excluded or referred equal number of athletes, although the reason for further evaluation does differ based on setting.

Corresponding Author: David Lick, MD, MBA, 44250 Dequindre Rd, Sterling Heights, MI 48314 (

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Received July 01, 2016

Accepted January 05, 2017

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