What is the Effectiveness of the THOR3 Programme on Self-Reported Injury Rates?

Research Paper Title

Evaluation of the US Army Special Forces Tactical Human Optimization, Rapid Rehabilitation, and Reconditioning Program.

Background

The researchers sought to assess the rehabilitation process, training, performance, and injury rates among those participating and not participating in the Tactical Human Optimisation, Rapid Rehabilitation, and Reconditioning (THOR3) program and determine injury risk factors.

Methods

A survey inquiring about personal characteristics, injuries, physical performance, and THOR3 participation during the previous 12 months was administered to Army Special Operations Forces (SOF) Soldiers.

Based on responses to physical training, Soldiers were categorised into three groups:

  • A traditional physical training (TPT) group;
  • A cross-training (CT) group; and
  • A THOR3 group.

To identify potential injury risk factors, risk ratios and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were calculated. Backward- stepping multi-variable logistic regression models were used to assess key factors associated with injury risk.

Results

The survey was completed by 328 male Soldiers. Most of the Soldiers (62%) who scheduled an appointment with the physical therapist were seen within 1 day.

Self-reported injury rates for the groups were:

  • TPT – 70%;
  • CT – 52%; and
  • THOR3 – 48%.

When controlling for personal characteristics, unit training, and fitness, the TPT group had a marginally higher risk of being injured than the THOR3 group (odds ratio [OR], 2.72; 95% CI, 0.86-8.59; p = .09).

Soldiers who did not perform any unit resistance training (ORnone/90-160 min, 3.62; 95% CI, 1.05-12.53; p = .04) or the greatest amount of resistance training (OR>160 min/90-160 min, 3.44; 95% CI, 1.64-7.20; p < .01) were more likely to experience an injury than the moderate-resistance training group.

Conclusions

THOR3 appears to offer human performance optimisation/injury prevention advantages over other SOF human performance programmes.

Reference

Grier, T., Anderson, M.K., Depenbrock, P., Eiserman, R., Nindl, B.C. & Jones, B.H. (2018) Evaluation of the US Army Special Forces Tactical Human Optimization, Rapid Rehabilitation, and Reconditioning Program. Journal of Special Operations Medicine. Summer 2018. 18(2), pp.42-48.

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