Musculoskeletal Health Considerations to Improve Risiliency and Lethality in Female Marines

Grants and Contracts Details

Description

With the changes in operational demand and the integration of women into previously closed occupations, an updated assessment of the burden of musculoskeletal injuries in the Marines is warranted. With the increasing integration of women into diverse career fields, it is also important to understand the unique risk factors for musculoskeletal injury for both female and male Marines. Additionally, little is known about sex-specific changes in resiliency following musculoskeletal injury. The identification of unique risk factors for subsequent injury and diminished resiliency following return to duty from these injuries is critical to maintain appropriate levels of operational readiness and increase retention on duty in female and male Marines. Within this project we will integrate field deployable technology to assess physical performance characteristics which will be analyzed through machine learning techniques to provide new insights into potential risk factors for injury. Our hypothesis is that male and female Marines exhibit different injury patterns, healthcare utilization patterns, contributing factors to musculoskeletal injury, and threats to resiliency following injury. This research specifically meets the congressional language outlined in the Musculoskeletal Injuries in Female Service Members line of the Department of Defense Appropriations Bill, 2020 Report of the Committee on Appropriations. The results from this study will have the capabilities to transition for department-wide application to enhance musculoskeletal injury prevention and rehabilitation and will develop a series of deliverables including technical reports and training protocols with actionable information for end-users within military health and human performance. Aim 1: Examine differences in musculoskeletal injury risk between female and male service members across different occupations and phases of the deployment cycle. Deliverables: Epidemiologic information regarding musculoskeletal injury patterns exhibited by female and male Marines within time periods which encompassed pre- and post-integration of females into previous closed occupations. Comparison of injury trends in males and females across time, occupations, and phases of the deployment cycle. Aim 2: Compare healthcare utilization as a result of musculoskeletal injury in female and male service members in combat and non-combat occupations. Deliverables: Retrospective analysis of musculoskeletal healthcare utilization data within time periods which encompassed pre- and post-integration of females into previously closed occupations. Demonstrate the cost and resources expended by musculoskeletal injuries in female and male service members over time. Aim 3: Identify sex-specific factors for musculoskeletal injury in active-duty service members. Deliverables: Development of a field deployable assessment protocol that can be used to evaluate musculoskeletal injury risk by practitioners from various health support and human performance service units. Recommendations for musculoskeletal injury prevention strategies for female and male Marines based on the identified physical and psychosocial health risk factors. Aim 4: Determine the effect of musculoskeletal injury on resiliency in female and male service members. Deliverables: Development of a field deployable assessment protocol that can evaluate the risk for subsequent musculoskeletal injury by practitioners from various health support services to optimize recovery. Recommendations for tertiary musculoskeletal injury prevention associated with Marines who sustain musculoskeletal injuries based on the identified physical and psychosocial threats to resiliency. Aim 5: Explore field-based physiologic and biomechanical data captured using remote monitoring technology to assess musculoskeletal injury risk and recovery. Deliverables: Real-time and sex-specific physiological and biomechanical monitoring data to better inform training intervention to avoid musculoskeletal injury.
StatusActive
Effective start/end date8/30/218/29/24

Funding

  • Office of Naval Research: $4,016,764.00

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