JSU Student Symposium 2022

Recommendations and Considerations for Return to Play Protocols for Athletes at Various Levels Who Test Positive for COVID-19: A Critically Appraised Topic

Title

Recommendations and Considerations for Return to Play Protocols for Athletes at Various Levels Who Test Positive for COVID-19: A Critically Appraised Topic

Date

2-15-2022

Faculty Mentor

Jennifer Savage, Kinesiology; Chris Clark, Kinesiology

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Submission Type

Demonstration

Location

11:30-11:40am | Houston Cole Library, 11th Floor

Description

Context: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended a minimum 14-day quarantine during the years 2019-2020, after testing positive for COVID-19. Current guidelines advise ill individuals to stay at home for at least five full days. Because the virus is ever changing and evolving, COVID-19 guidelines and protocols to safely return athletes back into sport after testing positive for COVID-19 are currently limited. This leads to the necessity of investigating how testing positive for COVID-19 affect return to play protocols, recommendations, and considerations for athletes of various levels.

Methods: A computerized literature search was conducted during September 2021. The search terms used were COVID-19, athletes, return to play. Electronic databases used were the JSU Library and Google Scholar with full text. Inclusion criteria: Published in the English language within the last 5 years, athletic population, positive COVID-19 test, and return to play protocols, recommendations, and considerations. Exclusion criteria: General population or other respiratory illnesses. Validity of the selected studies were determined using the Oxford Centre for Evidence Based Medicine Scale. One author independently reviewed the studies, scored each paper, and reviewed the completed appraisals to come to a consensus on study quality.

Results: The literature search retrieved a total of 87 studies. Three studies met the inclusion criteria and the level of evidence suggested by the Strength of Recommendation of Taxonomy was used to identify eligible studies. Ross et al. and Calpino and Morrissette recognized cardiovascular and respiratory damage occurs from COVID-19. It is recommended that the athlete undergoes a cardiac screening before beginning return to play, because of the unknown affects to the cardiopulmonary system of the body. Ross et al. and Biswas et al. recommend a progression through the return to play protocol that should be based on the athlete’s individual progress rather than a timeline. Calpino & Morrissette and Biswas et al. stated that the collaboration of multiple healthcare professionals are required due to the involvement of numerous body systems in this illness.

Conclusion: Based on the recommendations and considerations, the recovery and return to play process will vary and should be individualized to the athlete. Because of the nature of this illness and its ability to evolve and adapt to its surroundings, healthcare providers should also be prepared to adapt to the changes in protocols for athletes who suffered from COVID-19. Working together with other healthcare professionals will allow for improved patient- centered care and outcomes. Well-established return to play guidelines are very limited for a vast majority of injuries and illnesses. Future research is needed to properly provide graduated return to play protocols for athletes at various levels who test positive for COVID-19.

Keywords

student research, kinesiology

Rights

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Disciplines

Kinesiotherapy

Recommendations and Considerations for Return to Play Protocols for Athletes at Various Levels Who Test Positive for COVID-19: A Critically Appraised Topic

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