International Consensus on Military Research Priorities & Gaps

Research Paper Title

International consensus on military research priorities and gaps – Survey results from the 4th International Congress on Soldiers’ Physical Performance.

Background

The objectives of this study were to identify perceived priorities related to military personnel’s health and physical performance, among attendees at the 4th International Congress on Soldiers’ Physical Performance (ICSPP), and to determine if perceived priorities had changed between the 3rd ICSPP survey held in 2014 and the 4th ICSPP survey held in 2017.

Methods

Respondents were asked to grade priority areas on a Likert scale, via an electronic survey, and average ratings were used to rank priority areas. Responses to free text questions were analysed qualitatively. Responses to the 4th ICSPP survey were described and compared to responses to the 3rd ICSPP survey.

Results

The 4th ICSPP survey respondents were a diverse group (40.6% military, 58.9% civilian).

The two most important priority areas identified were physical demands in operational environments (mean score=4.41/5) and measuring physical performance/fitness (4.38/5), which were also the top two areas in the 3rd ICSPP survey.

There was remarkable overlap in the rankings of priority areas between the two surveys. Sleep and nutrition were emerging priority areas and were perceived as relatively more important in the 4th ICSPP survey compared to the 3rd ICSPP survey. The greatest perceived emerging threat was resilience/psychological fitness of recruits (4.16/5). Physiological status monitoring (2.79/4) was identified as the most important technology.

Conclusions

Despite the diverse backgrounds of the respondents, there was a clear continuing consensus about perceived important priority areas influencing military personnel’s health and physical performance. Soldier resiliency and assessment of physiological status were research topics identified as top priorities.

Reference

Lovalekar, M., Sharp, M.A., Billing, D.C., Drain, J.R., Nindl, B.C. & Zambraski, E.J. (2018) International consensus on military research priorities and gaps – Survey results from the 4th International Congress on Soldiers’ Physical Performance. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. 21(11):1125-1130. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2018.05.028. Epub 2018 Jun 6.

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