Date of Award

Spring 2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Movement Sciences


Human Movement Sciences

Committee Director

Bonnie L. Van Lunen

Committee Member

Stacy E. Walker

Committee Member

Beth E. Jamali


Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) concepts are becoming more prevalent in the educational curricula of nursing, medicine, physical therapy, and athletic training. The infusion of EBP in the clinical education experience of students has been slow especially in athletic training. The aim of Project I was to investigate approved clinical instructors (ACIs) experience and implementation of EBP with students through emergent design qualitative interviews. Project II was designed to develop and establish the reliability of the Evidence-Based Concepts Assessment (EBCA) to assess athletic trainers' perceived importance, attitudes & beliefs, knowledge, confidence, accessibility, and barriers of EBP. Project III investigated the importance, knowledge, and confidence of athletic trainers in EBP concepts using the EBCA.

The sixteen approved clinical instructors (ACIs) interviewed identified strategies of discovery, promotion of critical thinking, and sharing of information in how they implemented EBP with students. ACIs also expressed the need to model the EBP behavior for students to appreciate and implement in their clinical practice. Barriers of limited resources, personnel, academic program constraints, and personal knowledge were reported. Strategies to integrate didactic and clinical collaboration of EBP were identified.

Project II demonstrated that each of the sub-scales of the EBCA were reliable. In addition, factors within each sub-scale were established to allow for further analysis of the data. The EBCA was utilized to assess the perceived importance, attitudes & beliefs, knowledge, confidence, accessibility, and barriers to EBP in individuals with a variety of athletic training roles. Athletic training clinicians, undergraduate athletic training education program directors, approved clinical instructors, post-professional educators, and post-professional students were contacted to participate in completing the EBCA. Overall participants demonstrated a high level (3.49/4.0 ± .41) of perceived importance for EBP. Despite the high level of importance, participants' overall total knowledge scores were low (64.2% ± 1.29) and they reported that they were only mildly to moderately confident in their knowledge (2.71/4.0 ± .55). Athletic training clinicians demonstrated significantly lower knowledge and confidence scores than all other participants. Individuals with a terminal degree demonstrated significantly higher knowledge scores and confidence in knowledge than all other participants.


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