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The Impact of Musculoskeletal Conditions on the Canadian Forces
The Canadian Forces Health Services (CFHS) invests significant resources annually in the management of musculoskeletal conditions (MSKC). This is evident in all aspects of health services delivery and ultimately Canadian Forces (CF) operational readiness as we see the impact of MSKC on medical releases. The purpose is to provide a broad and strategized review of the impact of MSKC on the CF with the objectives of:
1) developing support for a strategic plan of capturing necessary information;
2) sharing information to facilitate integrated approaches for positive clinical outcomes; and
3) developing integrated performance measurement strategies. A review of the academic literature was conducted. Clinical data from various CFHS sources was analyzed. The triangulation of data from these multiple sources is used to provide a much broader and clearer perspective of the impact of MSKC in the CF. High health service utilization rates, expenditures and high musculoskeletal injury rates are detailed as well as the implications on the operational readiness of the CF. Statistics confirm that MSKC are a leading cause of morbidity in the modern armies of the world. The use of a multiple sources approach allows us to weight the true value of MSKC on operational readiness relative to other medical conditions. The evidence suggests that the impact of MSKC in the CF may be much greater than expected. It is believed that a more integrated musculoskeletal management program could lead to improved clinical outcomes.
Major Luc Hébert
Major Luc Hébert, PhD, CD is a physiotherapist at the rank of Major with the Canadian Forces Primary Reserve List and he served in the Regular Forces from 1982 to 1996. He completed a Master Degree in Biomedical Sciences at Montreal.
Lieutenant-Colonel Rowe, MRSc, CD, has been a Military Physiotherapy Officer in the Canadian Forces since 1988 and has served postings at CFB Calgary, 4 Wing Cold Lake, 8 Wing Trenton, CFB Halifax and NDHQ Ottawa. He recently completed his Master.