Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Athletic Training








Context: Understanding implementation strategies of Approved Clinibal Instructors (ACIs) who use evidence-based practice (EBP) in clinical instruction will help promote the use of EBP in clinical practice.

Objective: To examine the perspectives and experiences of ACIs using EBP concepts in undergraduate athletic training education programs to determine the importance of using these concepts in clinical practice, clinical EBP implementation strategies for students, and challenges of implementing EBP into clinical practice while mentoring and teaching their students.

Design: Qualitative study.

Setting: Telephone interviews.

Patients or Other Participants: Sixteen ACIs (11 men, 5 women; experience as a certified athletic trainer = 10 ± 4.7 years, experience as an ACI = 6.8 ± 3.9 years) were interviewed.

Data Collection and Analysis: We interviewed each participant by telephone. Interview transcripts were analyzed and coded for common themes and subthemes regarding implementation strategies. Established themes were triangulated through peer review and member checking to verify the data.

Results: The ACIs identified EBP implementation as important for validation of the profession, changing paradigm shift, improving patient care, and improving student educational experiences. They promoted 3 methods of implementing EBP concepts with their students: self-discovery, promoting critical thinking, and sharing information. They assisted students with the steps of EBP and often faced challenges in implementation of the first 3 steps of EBP: defining a clinical question, literature searching, and literature appraisal. Finally, ACIs indicated that modeling the behavior of making clinical decisions based on evidence was the best way to encourage students to continue using EBP.

Conclusions: Athletic training education program directors should encourage and recommend specific techniques for EBP implementation in the clinical setting. The ACIs believed that role modeling is a strategy that can be used to promote the use of EBP with students. Training of ACIs should include methods by which to address the steps of the EBP process while still promoting critical thinking.

Original Publication Citation

Hankemeier, D. A., & Van Lunen, B. L. (2011). Approved clinical instructors' perspectives on implementation strategies in evidence-based practice for athletic training students. Journal of Athletic Training, 46(6), 655-664.