Presentation Title

Prevalence of a Best Practice Emergency Action Plan in Montana Class AA Secondary Schools

Authors' Names

Alexandra Davis

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Abstract/Artist Statement

Research suggests the high rates of sport related deaths in secondary school athletics may be preventable with adequate planning, preparedness, and resources. An Emergency Action Plan (EAP) is designed to describe these protocols and provide a foundation for care with site-specific instructions. Efforts for schools to implement these documents have been significant in recent years, and have led to the development of evidence-based best practice recommendations (BPRs). The purpose of this study was to determine if existing EAPs in Montana Class AA secondary schools met BPRs. A cross-sectional study design and convenience sampling technique was used to target Montana Class AA secondary schools (enrollment size larger than 779 students). The Montana Secondary School Best Practice EAP survey (MSSBPEAPS) consists of 37 closed ended questions and was developed based on current BPRs concentrating on emergency planning, environmental related considerations, sudden cardiac arrest, catastrophic neck injuries, and emergency medical conditions. The MSSBPEAPS was piloted to establish content validity. The MSSBPEAPS was disseminated electronically to athletic trainers employed at the 14 Montana Class AA secondary schools with a request to complete the MSSBPEAPS and attach their most current EAP. Eleven responses were submitted. Responses were eliminated if more than 5 questions were unanswered or if an EAP was not attached, leaving 5 responses eligible for review for a response rate of 36% (n=5/14). The remaining 5 surveys and EAPs were blinded then scored independently by two members of the research team. A scoring rubric to quantitatively assess survey responses and EAP congruence with BPRs was developed, whereby points were awarded for meeting outlined criteria. The weighted scores were tabulated to calculate an aggregate score and schools were then ranked based on the aggregate score achieved. This research is the first to compare current practices to evidence-based BPRs related to emergency preparedness in athletics in class AA secondary schools in Montana. The development of the MSSBPEAPS and the EAP content rubric provide a new approach to understanding the current practices of secondary schools within the state. While there has been research done on a national level, narrowing to a more local lens provides the ability to present practical strategies applicable to the current procedures at each school. The intent of the study was to observe the adoption rate of BPRs, which illustrate the school’s anticipation and readiness for an emergency situation to occur. While Montana Class AA secondary schools provide evidence of development and implementation of EAP, there is significant room for improvement to meet BPR. Strengths were identified in the development of the EAP to include policies regarding environmental illness, cardiac arrest, and catastrophic neck injuries; however, areas of improvement are warranted in documentation, mitigation of risk, and emergency medical conditions. Additional investigation is necessary to determine to what extent athletic trainers use BPR to develop their EAP as well as to identify any barriers that exist that prohibit implementation.

Mentor Name

Valerie Moody

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Feb 22nd, 10:40 AM Feb 22nd, 10:55 AM

Prevalence of a Best Practice Emergency Action Plan in Montana Class AA Secondary Schools

UC 330

Research suggests the high rates of sport related deaths in secondary school athletics may be preventable with adequate planning, preparedness, and resources. An Emergency Action Plan (EAP) is designed to describe these protocols and provide a foundation for care with site-specific instructions. Efforts for schools to implement these documents have been significant in recent years, and have led to the development of evidence-based best practice recommendations (BPRs). The purpose of this study was to determine if existing EAPs in Montana Class AA secondary schools met BPRs. A cross-sectional study design and convenience sampling technique was used to target Montana Class AA secondary schools (enrollment size larger than 779 students). The Montana Secondary School Best Practice EAP survey (MSSBPEAPS) consists of 37 closed ended questions and was developed based on current BPRs concentrating on emergency planning, environmental related considerations, sudden cardiac arrest, catastrophic neck injuries, and emergency medical conditions. The MSSBPEAPS was piloted to establish content validity. The MSSBPEAPS was disseminated electronically to athletic trainers employed at the 14 Montana Class AA secondary schools with a request to complete the MSSBPEAPS and attach their most current EAP. Eleven responses were submitted. Responses were eliminated if more than 5 questions were unanswered or if an EAP was not attached, leaving 5 responses eligible for review for a response rate of 36% (n=5/14). The remaining 5 surveys and EAPs were blinded then scored independently by two members of the research team. A scoring rubric to quantitatively assess survey responses and EAP congruence with BPRs was developed, whereby points were awarded for meeting outlined criteria. The weighted scores were tabulated to calculate an aggregate score and schools were then ranked based on the aggregate score achieved. This research is the first to compare current practices to evidence-based BPRs related to emergency preparedness in athletics in class AA secondary schools in Montana. The development of the MSSBPEAPS and the EAP content rubric provide a new approach to understanding the current practices of secondary schools within the state. While there has been research done on a national level, narrowing to a more local lens provides the ability to present practical strategies applicable to the current procedures at each school. The intent of the study was to observe the adoption rate of BPRs, which illustrate the school’s anticipation and readiness for an emergency situation to occur. While Montana Class AA secondary schools provide evidence of development and implementation of EAP, there is significant room for improvement to meet BPR. Strengths were identified in the development of the EAP to include policies regarding environmental illness, cardiac arrest, and catastrophic neck injuries; however, areas of improvement are warranted in documentation, mitigation of risk, and emergency medical conditions. Additional investigation is necessary to determine to what extent athletic trainers use BPR to develop their EAP as well as to identify any barriers that exist that prohibit implementation.