Knowledge of the Female Athlete Triad Among Female High School Athletes and Their Coaches
Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology
STUDY OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to determine awareness/knowledge of the Triad and its health implications among female high school athletes and their coaches, and to evaluate coaches' Triad screening/intervention practices. DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey. SETTING: Two high schools in the western United States. PARTICIPANTS: Female athletes from a variety of sports (N = 240) ages 14-18 years and their coaches (N = 10). INTERVENTION: Participants completed surveys that assessed Triad knowledge and athlete Triad risk factors. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Frequency of responses to Triad knowledge, Triad risk factor, and Triad education/screening procedures questions; athlete summative knowledge score. RESULTS: Half (N = 120) of participants reported menstrual irregularity, and 42% (N = 101) had 2 or more Triad risk factors: past amenorrhea (N = 39), past stress fracture (N = 41), self-reported not eating enough (N = 53), underweight (BMI-for-age < 5(th) percentile) (N = 10), pressure to be a certain weight (N = 143), and wanting to lose >10 pounds when self-reported weight was in a healthy range (N = 34). Average athlete Triad knowledge score was 2.97 ± 1.61 out of 8. Coach Triad knowledge was limited; however, most (9/10) were comfortable discussing menstruation with their athletes. Barriers to Triad screening/education were coaches' insufficient time, knowledge, and educational resources. CONCLUSION: Triad risk factors were prevalent among athletes and coach and athlete Triad knowledge was low. Providing coaches with Triad screening/education training may increase Triad knowledge and decrease Triad risk among high school athletes.
Brown KN, Wengreen HJ, Beals KA. Knowledge of the Female Athlete Triad among Female High School Athletes and Their Coaches. Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology. 2014; 27(5):278-282. (1,3-6)