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Content Validity of Level Two of the Royal Air Force Aircrew Conditioning Programme

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INTRODUCTION: The prevalence of flight-related neck pain in all Royal Air Force (RAF) aircrew is 66% and 70% in UK fast-jet aircrew. The RAF Aircrew Conditioning Programme (ACP) has been designed to enhance pilot performance through reducing fatigue and strain injuries, particularly to the neck. Content validity of the ACP was assessed to determine the appropriateness for delivery to aircrew.

METHODS: Six international medical experts reviewed level two of the ACP, which is delivered to student aircrew who have completed basic instruction in cervical spine stability, core stability and initial technique instruction for strength training. Content validity on overall exercise approach (5 items) and specific exercise session (24 items) was rated on a 4-point Likert-type ordinal scale for Relevance and Simplicity. Four reviewers had experience of delivering an exercise program to aircrew. The item-content validity index (I-CVI) was the proportion of experts rating an item/exercise as acceptable (score 3-4) while protocol-CVI was the average I-CVI across items.

RESULTS: Of the suggested exercise sessions, 20 reached an excellent I-CVI (1.00) for Relevance (4 reached acceptable I-CVI (0.83)), and 21 reached an excellent I-CVI (1.00) for Simplicity (3 reached acceptable I-CVI (0.83)). Protocol-CVI for the ACP was excellent for Relevance (0.90) and good for Simplicity (0.83). The need for sufficient supervision during the exercises was recommended for safe exercise execution and to maintain adherence.

CONCLUSION: The ACP demonstrated excellent relevance for the target population. The aircrew require additional supervision with the more complex neck exercises to enhance simplicity with the ACP.

Slungaard E, Green NDC, Newham DJ, Harridge SDR. Content validity of level two of the Royal Air Force Aircrew Conditioning Program. Aerosp Med Hum Perform. 2018; 89(10):896–904.
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Keywords: acceleration; aircrew; exercise; neck pain

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2018

More about this publication?
  • This journal (formerly Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine), representing the members of the Aerospace Medical Association, is published monthly for those interested in aerospace medicine and human performance. It is devoted to serving and supporting all who explore, travel, work, or live in hazardous environments ranging from beneath the sea to the outermost reaches of space. The original scientific articles in this journal provide the latest available information on investigations into such areas as changes in ambient pressure, motion sickness, increased or decreased gravitational forces, thermal stresses, vision, fatigue, circadian rhythms, psychological stress, artificial environments, predictors of success, health maintenance, human factors engineering, clinical care, and others. This journal also publishes notes on scientific news and technical items of interest to the general reader, and provides teaching material and reviews for health care professionals.

    To access volumes 74 through 85, please click here.
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