Investigating human response to a prolonged competitive stress situation the authors studied five participants in the 1049 mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. In contrast to prepare findings, mental status examinations within 6 hours of race finish showed an OMD in all subjects. Cognitive impairment, psychomotor retardation, and reports of perceptual disturbances were prominent. The racers' survival and mastery of the extreme stress situation despite their ODM were emphasized. Strategies and responses used by the racers were reviewed. The remarkable outcome suggested the importance of goal direction and self-reliance in efforts to maximize functioning of patients with ongoing OMD.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
From the University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, Minn., and Harvard Medical School and Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, Mass. Michael K. Popkin, M.D.: Associate Professor, Departments of Psychiatry and Medicine, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, Minn.; Vemer Stillner, M.D.. M.P.H.: Director of Mental Health for the State of Alaska; Chester M. Pierce, M.D.: Professor of Psychiatry and Education, Harvard Medical School and Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, Mass. This research was supported by Harvard University Research Grant RR 07046-13. Address reprint requests to Dr. Popkin, Box 345, Mayo Building, University Hospital, Minneapolis, Minn. 55455. 0 1981 by Grune & Stratton, Inc. 0010_440Xl81/2205-0010$01.00/0