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Many States Slow to Update Preparticipation Physical Exams

More than half of states require or recommend use of outdated or unidentifiable forms

MONDAY, Dec. 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Many states have been slow to adopt preparticipation physical evaluation-fourth edition (PPE-4) recommendations, according to a study published online Dec. 22 in Pediatrics.

Shane V. Caswell, Ph.D., from George Mason University in Manassas, Va., and colleagues examined PPE administrative policies and cardiovascular screening content of all 50 states and Washington, D.C. The authors compared PPE policies, documents, and forms with the PPE-4 consensus recommendations.

The researchers found that 98 percent of states required a PPE prior to participation. Fifty-three percent of states required a specific form, while 24 percent recommended use of a specific form. Fewer than half of the states (45 percent) required or recommended use of PPE-4 or a modified version, while more than half (53 percent) required or recommended an outdated or unidentifiable form. Ten states had not changed their PPE forms in more than five years. Nine different health care providers were permitted by states to administer PPEs. All 12 of the PPE-4 personal and family history cardiovascular screening items were addressed by 43 percent of states; 4 percent of states addressed eight to 11 items. Three or fewer items were addressed by most of the remaining 26 states.

"Findings suggest a need for PPE standardization nationwide and adoption of an electronic PPE process," the authors write.

The study was funded in part by the Potomac Health Foundation.

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