What are the Factors Affecting Performance on an Army Urban Operation Casualty Evacuation for Male & Female Soldiers?

Research Paper Title

Factors Affecting Performance on an Army Urban Operation Casualty Evacuation for Male and Female Soldiers.

Background

This study was conducted to determine what physical and physiological characteristics contribute to the performance of an urban operation casualty evacuation (UO) and its predictive test, FORCE combat (FC) and describe the metabolic demand of the UO in female soldiers.

Methods

Seventeen military members (9 M and 8 F) completed a loaded walking maximal aerobic test, the UO and FC.

Heart rate reserve (HRR) and completion time were used as efficiency/performance measures.

Oxygen consumption (VO2) was directly measured for UO on five female participants with a portable indirect calorimetry system, and analyzed using descriptive statistics.

Stepwise multiple regression analysis was used to determine the contribution of the non-modifiable (age, sex, height) and modifiable characteristics (lean body mass to dead mass ratio (LBM:DM), VO2max corrected for load (L.VO2max), peak force (PF) measured on an isometric mid-thigh pull (IMTP) and medicine ball chest throw distance (Dist) on to the performance of each exercise.

Results

LBM:DM and PF were the only factors included in the stepwise regression model for UO, predicting 70% of UO performance (p < 0.01).

For FC, L.VO2max only was included in the stepwise regression model predicting 54% of FC performance (p < 0.01).

Sex, age and height were not included in the regression model. The average metabolic cost of UO was 21.4 mL of O2kg-1min-1 in female soldiers while wearing PPE.

Conclusions

This study showed that modifiable factors such as body composition, PF on IMTP and L.VO2max are key contributors to performance on UO and FC performance.

Reference

Chassé, E., Tingelstad, H.C., Needham-Beck, S.C. & Reilly, T. (2019) Factors Affecting Performance on an Army Urban Operation Casualty Evacuation for Male and Female Soldiers. Military Medicine. 184(11-12), pp.e856-e862. doi: 10.1093/milmed/usz075.

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