Date of Award

Summer 2007

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Human Movement Sciences


Athletic Training

Committee Director

Bonnie Van Lunen

Committee Member

James Onate

Committee Member

Stacy Walker

Committee Member

Kathleen S. Thomas

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.E44 B67 2007


As evidenced by the current history of heat related deaths, heat-related illness is a vast problem in the United States. The purpose of this study was to assess the knowledge of high school athletic coaches' knowledge of the prevention, recognition, and treatment of exertional heat illnesses (EHI). A twenty-five question multiple choice assessment survey was developed to measure knowledge levels concerning the recognition, treatment, and prevention of EI-II. In addition, a questionnaire was utilized to collect demographic characteristics that could have had an effect on knowledge scores. The instrument was reviewed by a panel of experts for face and content validity, and then pilot tested with a group of college coaches, undergraduate students in the physical education field, and certified athletic trainers to determine its test-retest reliability prior to distribution to subjects. Subjects scored a mean of 15.01 ± 2.79 with a range of 8.00- 21.00. The mean score for the recognition section was 4.34 ± 1.35 (54%) with a range between 1.00 and 7.00. The mean score for the prevention section was 5.75 ± 1.62 (58%) with a range between 2.00 and 9.00. The mean score for the treatment section was 5.01 ± 1.25 (72%) with a range between 1.00 and 7 .00. There was no difference in scores between male (15.05 ± 2.84) and female coaches (14.72 ± 2.69). There was no effect of highest level of degree obtained on knowledge levels. A 2 x 3 one-way ANOVA revealed an interaction for First Aid certification on treatment scores (F1,80 = 7 .38, p= .008), with coaches who had the certification scoring significantly higher (5.38 ± .91) than those who did not (4.67 ± 1.4). There was a weak significant positive correlation between overall knowledge levels and years spent coaching at the high school level (r= .260, p=.018). This was also a weak positive correlation between coaches' knowledge in the area of preventing exertional heat illnesses and the number of years of high school coaching experience (r=.264, p= .016). There was no significant difference in knowledge level found between coaches who have personally suffered from EHI (20%) and those that have not (76.5%). There was a main effect for attendance at an informational session or workshop on the recognition section (F1,80 = 3.961, p=.050). The results suggest that high school athletic coaches may benefit from further education in the areas of recognition, prevention, and treatment of exertional heat illnesses. Further research should create educational materials for exertional heat illnesses and then examine their effectiveness on increasing knowledge levels as well as retention rates.


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