THE TRIAD TRIAL: ONLINE EDUCATION FOR COACHES FOR THE PREVENTION OF THE FEMALE ATHLETE
The female athlete triad includes decreased energy availability, menstrual dysfunction, and decreased bone mineral density. The triad is a common problem among female athletes and negatively affects performance and health. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to develop an online educational resource aimed at educating coaches about the triad. METHODS: The online resource included a website, blog, and Facebook page, under that title The Triad Trial, which targeted coaches of female athletes 13 to 18 years of age. Resources were evaluated by panels of experts, coaches, and athletes, and were made available to the public (www.thetriadtrial.com). Coaches were contacted by email or social media and encouraged to visit the site and to complete a survey. Traffic to the website was monitored for the 8 weeks that the survey was open. RESULTS: During the 8-week period, there were 732 unique visits to the website, while 90 participants completed the survey. Of the people who took the survey, 82% had never heard of the triad, 11% believe that missing menstrual cycles posed no risk to their female athletes, and 29% were neutral, indicating that 40% of the surveyed coaches were unaware of the dangers associated with missing menstrual cycles. However, urban coaches were more aware of the dangers than rural coaches (p= 0.025). The online education provided a means to reach higher-risk rural coaches. After exposure, 75% said the website helped change their opinion about the seriousness of the triad. The majority (92.2 %) of participants felt that the website gave them the tools necessary to educate their athletes on the triad, and 80% used or planned to use at least one of the tools provided. Overall, participants’ self-reported positive changes in knowledge, attitude, and behaviors related to prevention of the triad. CONCLUSION: The results from this study indicate that the majority of Utah high school coaches are unaware of the female athlete triad, however they are eager to learn and improve their practices. This study suggests that online education may be an effective way to reach and educate coaches about preventing the triad. More research on outcomes among athletes is needed.
Ostler, M. and Wengreen, H.
"THE TRIAD TRIAL: ONLINE EDUCATION FOR COACHES FOR THE PREVENTION OF THE FEMALE ATHLETE,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Conference Proceedings: Vol. 8
, Article 9.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijesab/vol8/iss5/9
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