Observer estimation of OMNI scale RPE during a fire fighter skills test using video-graphic analysis
Keywords:Perceived exertion, firefighters, observational technique
Fifty-four male and female college aged students (28 men, 26 women) were asked to estimate the level of exertion (RPE) of twenty certified firefighters during a firefighter skills test using direct kinematic video-graphic analysis. Observers estimated RPE at six different epochs: immediately before exercise (IBE), top of stairs (TOS), bottom of stairs (BOS), immediately after hose drag (IAHD), immediately after exercise (IAE), and session (S). RPE was self-reported by firefighters IBE and IAE. The validity and reliability of the video-graphic observational technique was explored. Observer RPE estimates were significantly lower than the self-reported ratings (p<.001; mean difference: 0.54 ± 0.84). Observer ratings did not differ between trials and showed strong correlations ranging from 0.69 to 0.79 (p<.001). These findings indicate that the observational technique employed presently could possibly be used to provide estimates of exertional perceptions in firefighters, however more research is warranted to further validate kinematic observation in firefighters
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