Term of Award

Spring 2010

Degree Name

Master of Science in Kinesiology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Department

Department of Health and Kinesiology

Committee Chair

Noah Gentner

Committee Member 1

Barry Joyner

Committee Member 2

Susan Wehring

Committee Member 3

Jonathan Metzler

Abstract

Recent data clearly indicates that Certified Athletic Trainers (ATC) desire and may benefit from additional sport psychology training. It has been posited that psychological rehabilitation is just as, if not more, important than the physical rehabilitation process (Wiese, Weiss & Yukelson, 1991). Stiller-Ostrowski and Ostrowski (2008) support this by stating that psychosocial aspects of rehabilitation have been identified as an area of focus due to ATCs feeling underprepared. The current study was designed to extend from previous research by examining Athletic Training Education Program (ATEP) directors' and ATCs' perceptions of the Psychosocial Intervention and Referral competencies. Specifically, both groups will rate the Psychosocial Intervention and Referral competencies on importance, criticality, and preparedness, as well as rank the NATA Educational Competencies on these same variables. Participants included 88 randomly selected ATCs and 53 undergraduate ATEP directors from both genders, all race/ethnicity groups, and all NATA districts (geographic regions). Both groups completed the Athletic Training Educational Competency Questionnaire (ATECQ) online at http://www.surveymonkey.com. After a 5-week data collection time period, results were analyzed using one-tailed independent T-tests with an alpha level of 0.01 and an effect size of 0.50. Significant results were not found within the importance, criticality, or preparedness variables. However, it was noted that ATEP directors reported two psychosocial competencies to be more important compared to ATCs. In addition, ATCs and ATEP directors ranked the importance, criticality, and preparedness factors of the Psychosocial Intervention and Referral content area below 50% of the other content areas. Moreover, both groups ranked the acute care of injuries and illnesses, orthopedic clinical examination and diagnosis, and risk management and injury prevention as the most important, critical, and prepared. Overall, ATCs and ATEP directors do not consider the psychosocial aspects in athletic training as important or critical as the other content areas. Therefore, it is less likely that time is spent preparing students in this area. It is suggested that educational opportunities need to be made more available to ATCs and ATEP directors. More importantly, complete rehabilitation of the athlete will not occur until ATCs begin to treat the psychological aspects of injury.

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