Perceived health-related quality of life and the access to health care among collegiate dance team members
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Context: Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and a patient’s perception of health care satisfaction are two common outcome measures associated with the sports injury treatment process. Dancers and more specifically, female collegiate dance team members are a historically understudied group in which the interrelationship of these two concepts has not been documented. Objective: To investigate the HRQOL of members of collegiate dance teams as assessed by the SF-36 and the Disability in the Physically Active (DPA) questionnaires. Secondary purposes of this study were to survey collegiate dance team members’ perceptions of the health care satisfaction, and to identify their levels of satisfaction with the health care services available to them, as assessed by the Modified Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire (M-PSQ) instrument. Design: Cross- sectional descriptive study. Setting: Field-based survey. Patients or Other Participants: A convenience sample of 179 dancers from 5 college-level dance teams in Texas participated in this study. To qualify for inclusion in this study, the dancers had to be official members of their school’s dance team, and currently performing or on the current roster before incurring a season-ending injury. Interventions: Four pencil-and- paper questionnaires were administered to all of the members of the collegiate dance teams surveyed. A brief questionnaire was also given to each school’s dance team instructor/coordinator. Main Outcome Measures: The Short Form Health Study-36v2 (SF-36-v2), the Disability in the Physically Active scale (DPA), and the Modified Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire (M-PSQ) were key outcome measures. Secondary measures included the prevalence of health insurance coverage, and the availability of an athletic trainer and/or team physician. Results: Of the 179 collegiate dance team members surveyed, 95.6% (n = 171) currently had health insurance coverage and 81.6% (n = 146) indicated that they had access to medical services provided by athletic trainers. However, 74% (n = 133) responded that their preferred health care providers in the event of an injury would be their family physicians. Significant between-group differences were noted in three SF-36 v2 subscales (physical role limitations, bodily pain, general health), and the physical component scores of the injured dancers compared to their healthy counterparts (p < 0.05). Healthy collegiate dancer team members showed higher trends of satisfaction with health care providers compared to their injured counterparts; however, there were no statistically significant differences on any of the other outcome measures (p > 0.05). Conclusions: To our knowledge, this study is the first of its kind to investigate the incidence of injuries, perceptions of HRQOL, and health care satisfaction among female intercollegiate dance team members. Collegiate dancers remain an understudied population that could benefit from inclusion in existing national sports injury epidemiology programs such as the NCAA Injury Surveillance System.