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Research & Investigations in Sports Medicine

Characteristics of Sickle Cell Trait Policies and Procedures at NCAA Division II Institutions

Submission: January 30, 2020;Published: February 26, 2020

DOI: 10.31031/RISM.2020.06.000630

ISSN: 2577-1914
Volume6 Issue1


In 2010, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) introduced a proposal addressing sickle cell trait (SCT) screening. This new proposal policy required all NCAA Division I student-athletes beginning their initial year of enrollment provide their institution with accurate information regarding their SCT status. Following the NCAA Division II creating this requirement, the NCAA Division II adopted the same requirement. In addition to these screening requirements, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) released a statement recommending institutions utilized education on SCT as a method of preventing SCT related injury. To the author’s knowledge, there does not appear to be a study conducted in recent years to assess how many institutions are following the NCAA and NATA’s recommendations on SCT screening. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to describe the basic characteristics of SCT policies and procedures at NCAA Division II institutions. 73 NCAA Division II head athletic trainers participated in this study. Participants were sent an electronic survey via email that assessed availability sickle cell trait testing, availability of sickle cell trait waivers, and policy and procedure revision processes. Data was downloaded and analyzed using a commercially available statistics package (SPSS Version 26, IBM, Armonk, NY). The majority of head athletic trainers reported that their institution required SCT testing for their student-athletes (n= 40, 54.8%). 62 institutions reported offering SCT testing to their student-athletes either at the institution’s or the student-athlete’s expense. However, only a slight majority of institutions provided their student-athlete population with yearly education on SCT (n= 41, 56.2%). On average, institutions and team physicians reviewed SCT policies and procedures on an annual basis. 19.2% (n=14) of institutions had not reviewed their policy in the past two years, and 15.1% (n=11) of institutions did not have polices that had been reviewed by their team physician in the past two years. While the majority of responding institutions appeared to be at least minimally compliant with SCT screening procedures, athletic training staff and institutions should be encouraged to conduct annual reviews of the SCT screening policies and procedures. Institutions should consider implementing annual sickle cell trait education for student-athletes

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