Information for Health Care Providers about the Screening Project

Overview of Administering the Screen

The screening form is designed to be administered by a licensed healthcare professional (including, but not limited to a physical therapist (PT); certified athletic trainer (ATC); medical doctor (MD), etc.) trained to complete the objective tests.

Whether you are a health care professional working with a freelance dancer or helping to care for a professional dance company, it is the hope of the Dance/USA Task Force on Dancer Health that you will choose to participate in the screening project.  If this is of interest to you and your institution, there are a few steps that MUST be completed before the assessments are conducted and those instructions are provided in the guidelines.  To obtain the guidelines, please contact the screening committee.

There are comprehensive guidelines that accompany the screening tool.  If you are looking for an overview, these are key steps in beginning this process with your company.

    1. Meet with your companies AGMA dancer representatives or dancer leadership to fully explain this program so that they understand it and can be supportive.
    2. If you wish to participate in the research aspect of this project and you would like to be covered under the Boston Children’s Hospital IRB protocol, you must complete the few requirements for participation before obtaining informed consent.  See the section on research below for further information.
    3. All dancers should complete the medical history section of the screen BEFORE their scheduled assessment. They can either complete the paper form or log on directly to the Dancer Wellness Project.
    4. The most important aspect of this process is the comprehensive health history. It is possible for companies to only use this section.
    5. The physical assessment portion of the screen is designed to take no more than 30 minutes, INCLUDING the individual review and recommendations time.  However, the first several screenings may take longer as the medical professional become familiar with the form and format.
    6. READ the Guidelines, watch the instructional video, and practice the physical assessment with a colleague before your dancers arrive. 
    7. Larger companies have found that doing the screen in sections assists them in seeing 3-4 dancers per half hour. Smaller companies have found that the 1 on 1 model is more efficient. Either model can work well, as long as there are 5-10 minutes at the end for individual and private review of the health history, physical assessment findings and any necessary recommendations.

All of the above points are explained in further detail in the Guidelines.  Please contact the Screening Committee with questions.

Research Policies

In order to participate in the research aspect of this project, following strict rules to work with human subjects is absolutely necessary.  Children’s Hospital, Boston has agreed to be the “host” site for the protocol review of this project nationally.  A comprehensive prospective protocol application is annually reviewed and approved by the Committee for Clinical Investigation at Children’s Hospital, Boston.  Even though this project has undergone the internal review board process, you should investigate the process for your affiliating institution.

If you would like to be covered under this umbrella IRB, you MUST register with the Task Force for Dancer Health. Dance/USA by completing the registrations form for this season.  Contact the Screening Committee directly for the registration form.  Once the request for the registration form is made, the IRB/Research Committee Chair will become involved in the process and will be a resource for questions regarding the research process. 

Data Storage

After the screen is conducted and the information or data is collected, there are strict rules outlined in the guidelines as to how the data must be stored.  Individual companies continue to “own” and control their own data, but there is option to store your “company’s” data in a protected and secure manner on the Dancer Wellness Project (DWP).  For more information on the DWP, please reference http://www.dancerwellnessproject.com/

Please contact the Screening and/or IRB/Research Committee for more information.