Use of the fatigue questionnaire (QFES) in child athletes for individual follow-up: Two cases

Background: Fatigue is one of the multiple components of the life of an athlete. It may have adverse consequences on the health of child athletes in particular in the short or long term. For the trainer or medical staff, detecting fatigue as fast as possible is therefore advisable.

Observations: Two young skiers beginning a sports class at age 11 were followed for 3 years within the framework of their practice for sport competition (1 alpine and 1 cross-country skier). At the same time as medical follow-up organized within the sports classes of the school they attended, the children completed at six times a questionnaire about fatigue, the QFES, (in
French: Questionnaire de fatigue de l’enfant sportif).

At one precise time during this follow-up, the QFES score for each child, both at age 12, clearly increased, by 175% and 133.3%, respectively, from previous scores. A thorough analysis of data gathered by the QFES allowed for revealing particular parameters of the fatigue: decreased sports performance, difficulties in relations. and sleep disorders.

Conclusion: Systematic use of the QFES in parallel with medical consultations for children participating in sport may be an efficient tool to detect the early appearance of fatigue and may therefore be integrated in preventive guidance to protect children in sports practice.

Source: Annales de Medicine Physique. 2007 Jun 26; [E-publication ahead of print] PMID: 17618008, by Bricout VA, Charrier I, Favre-Juvin A. Unité fonctionnelle de recherche, and Unité fonctionnelle de biologie et médecine du sport, service EFCR, CHU Sud, Échirolles, France.,/p>

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