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National Collegiate Athletic Association Mandated Sickle Cell Trait Screening Policy: Implications for the Athlete
American Public Health Association Annual Meeting (APHA) (2011)
  • Raymona H. Lawrence, Georgia Southern University
Background/Introduction: Effective August 2010, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Proposal No. 2009-75-B mandated sickle cell trait testing in all Division I athletes. Sickle Cell Trait primarily affects African Americans. Sickle cell screening programs have been scrutinized since the 1970s because of insensitivity to race. The recent change in NCAA Guideline 3c has been scrutinized partially for the same reason. The purpose of this study was to 1) determine perceptions of SCT and NCAA mandated SCT testing from college coaches and athletes' points of view; 2) determine components of an intervention that will be developed to educate athletes, and coaches, about sickle cell trait, and 3) to highlight the potential implications of an NCAA policy mandating SCT testing.

Methods: This was a sequential explanatory mixed methods study utilizing the PRECEDE-PROCEED, Health Belief Model, and Critical Race Theories. The first phase of the project was a survey of all athletes on campus ages 18-24. The second phase involved three focus groups and in-depth interviews with coaches and athletes. Phase II also involved an in-depth analysis of sickle cell policy from 1972-present.

Results: 72.2% (n=187) of athletes believed that NCAA mandated SCT testing was "Very Good/Good." Qualitative analysis revealed that the NCAA policy has potential for discrimination towards SCT carriers and that policy has not been made that protects athletes from these possible negative implications.

Conclusions: Athletes and coaches lack knowledge of SCT. It is necessary to develop policy that will lessen the possibility of discrimination towards SCT carriers.
  • Social Justice,
  • Genetics
Publication Date
October 31, 2011
Washington, DC
Citation Information
Raymona H. Lawrence. "National Collegiate Athletic Association Mandated Sickle Cell Trait Screening Policy: Implications for the Athlete" American Public Health Association Annual Meeting (APHA) (2011)
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