Article Title



Robert L. Herron1, Christopher P. Bonilla1, Greg A. Ryan2, Jason C. Casey3, Brandon D. Spradley1. 1United States Sports Academy, Daphne, AL. 2Piedmont University, Demorest, GA. 3University of North Georgia, Gainesville, GA.

BACKGROUND: Subjective measures of perceived readiness and exertion are widely used in research and practical settings. However, these data are ordinal in nature and present unique challenges during analysis and interpretation. The purpose of this study was to investigate the correlation of two visual analog scales (VAS) to their counterparts for readiness and exertion metrics. METHODS: A sample of 20 ROTC participants (female n = 1, aged 18-28 y) participated this study. Participants were asked to provide subject measures of readiness (before) and exertion (after) completing the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) during two sessions. Upon arrival, participants were asked to report their perceived readiness on a commonly-used perceived readiness scale (PRS: 0-10) and on a modified visual analog scale of perceived readiness (100-mm line anchored with “Unable to Perform” and “Ready for Peak Performance”). Then, all participants completed the current Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) and reported post session ratings of perceived exertion on the Omni scale (Omni RPE: 0-10) and a modified visual analog scale of perceived exertion (100-mm line anchored with “Rest/No Exertion” and “Maximal Exertion”). VAS scoring required the participant to mark on the 100-mm line where they fell on the spectrum and their score was later measured to the nearest millimeter the line passed. The protocol was repeated 72 h later. Data from both sessions were pooled for analysis for each comparison. Spearman’s Rho correlations were used to explore the relationships between the visual analog scales and their traditional, ordinal counterparts. RESULTS: The results of the Spearman’s Rho correlations showed moderately-strong correlations between the measures of readiness (rs(37) = 0.65, p < 0.001) and exertion (rs(35) = 0.77, p < 0.001). Of note, one participant did not complete session two and participant errors on the data collection sheet for Omni RPE called for the removal of two exertion-related data points. CONCLUSION: These data show that both visual analog scales have moderately-strong relationships with traditionally-used subjective metrics for readiness and exertion - establishing a level of criterion validity. Therefore, visual analog scales show promise as tool with which researchers and practitioners can assess subjective responses and be confident the data are continuous, limiting bias related to recall with serial measures.

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