Patient-Reported Outcomes of Firefighters Using Seven Health and Ability Questionnaires

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Background: Firefighting is among one of the most dangerous professions and requires exceptional physical fitness and focus while working. Patient-reported outcomes are a commonly used method to evaluate subjective health information and may be used by fire departments to identify the health status of firefighters and provide insight to promote their health. Our study is a novel analysis of firefighters' self-reported health to potentially identify deficiencies and opportunities for health improvement.

Methods: Firefighters were evaluated using seven different self-reported health surveys to assess various physical capabilities and quality of life. The questionnaires were delivered via online format and administered once to provide a snapshot of a suburban Oklahoma fire department.

Results: Using the Disablement in the Physically Active Scale, 14 of the 35 firefighters answered “slight, moderate, or severe” for the pain and motion variables. Only two of the firefighters indicated no stiffness or soreness after activity on the Nirschl Phase Rating Scale. The firefighters' mean rating for “energy/fatigue” via the RAND-36 was 54.14 out of 100.

Discussion: Firefighters generally had pain, impaired motion, and soreness as frequently reported symptoms, indicating areas in which interventions may be helpful. Incorporation of periodic health surveys into firefighter schedules can highlight present health issues, as well as intervention effectiveness by means of subjective health status reporting. By combining the health surveys with aerobic and core strength exercises, fire departments may be able to monitor and improve firefighter health.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 18 Feb 2022
EventOklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences Research Week 2022 : Poster Presentation - Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences, Tulsa, United States
Duration: 14 Feb 202218 Feb 2022


ConferenceOklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences Research Week 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • patient-reported outcomes
  • firefighter research
  • health surveys


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