Term of Award

Spring 2017

Degree Name

Master of Science in Kinesiology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Health and Kinesiology

Committee Chair

Jody Langdon

Committee Member 1

Tamerah Hunt

Committee Member 2

Barry Munkasy


Context: As a member of the sports medicine team, athletic trainers serve athletes through injury prevention, evaluation, and rehabilitation. While it is imperative for members of the sports medicine team to have knowledge of scope of practice of athletic trainers, it may also be important for athletes as well, so that the athletic trainers can be properly utilized by all parties. Although previous research has been completed on how athletes’ sport profile and satisfaction of care relate, no previous studies were identified that assessed athletes’ knowledge of athletic trainers’ scope of practice.

Objective: Determine student-athletes’ knowledge of athletic trainers’ scope of practice.

Design: Prospective sequential explanatory mixed methods design.

Setting: Online survey delivered through university email system; paper-pencil survey distributed at pre-participation examinations (PPE).

Participants: Convenience sample of 108 NCAA Division I student-athletes. Forty four total participants. Response rate: 41%. Groups were formed based on whether or not student-athletes had previous experience with an athletic trainer as well as sport profile.

Interventions: Survey consisted of demographic information and knowledge sections. Independent variables: previous experience with an athletic trainer, sport profile.

Main Outcome Measure: Demographic data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Knowledge questions were scored based on correct responses and a total knowledge score was calculated. Independent t-tests were completed to compare knowledge scores between athletes with or without previous experience with athletic trainer and between high- and low-profile sport groups.

Results: Approximately 91% of participants were 18 years old. 64% of participants had previous experience with an athletic trainer, while 36% had no previous experience. Independent T-tests revealed no significant differences in knowledge scores with regard to previous experience with an athletic trainer or sport profile.

Conclusion: This study provides evidence that previous experience with an athletic trainer and sport profile do not have an effect on the athlete’s knowledge of athletic trainers’ scope of practice. Results indicated that athletes have a moderate level of knowledge in all domains, which established that athletes’ have a consistent knowledge level with physicians, administrators, and coaches. Future studies could be done to assess knowledge levels across all NCAA Divisions.

Research Data and Supplementary Material