Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

Journal of Athletic Training








Context: Successful implementation of evidence-based practice (EBP) within athletic training is contingent upon understanding the attitudes and beliefs and perceived barriers toward EBP as well as the accessibility to EBP resources of athletic training educators, clinicians, and students.

Objective: To assess the attitudes, beliefs, and perceived barriers toward EBP and accessibility to EBP resources among athletic training educators, clinicians, and students.

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Setting: Online survey instrument.

Patients or Other Participants: A total of 1209 athletic trainers participated: professional athletic training education program directors (n = 132), clinical preceptors (n = 266), clinicians (n = 716), postprofessional athletic training educators (n = 24) and postprofessional students (n = 71).

Main Outcome Measure(s):Likert-scale items (1 = strongly disagree, 4 = strongly agree) assessed attitudes and beliefs and perceived barriers, whereas multipart questions assessed accessibility to resources. Kruskal-Wallis H tests (P ≤ .05) and Mann-Whitney U tests with a Bonferroni adjustment (P ≤ .01) were used to determine differences among groups.

Results:Athletic trainers agreed (3.27 ± 0.39 out of 4.0) that EBP has various benefits to clinical practice and disagreed (2.23 ± 0.42 out of 4.0) that negative perceptions are associated with EBP. Benefits to practice scores (P = .002) and negative perception scores (P < .001) differed among groups. With respect to perceived barriers, athletic trainers disagreed that personal skills and attributes (2.29 ± 0.52 out of 4.0) as well as support and accessibility to resources (2.40 ± 0.40 out of 4.0) were barriers to EBP implementation. Differences were found among groups for personal skills and attributes scores (P < .001) and support and accessibility to resources scores (P < .001). Time (76.6%) and availability of EBP mentors (69.6%) were the 2 most prevalent barriers reported. Of the resources assessed, participants were most unfamiliar with clinical prediction rules (37.6%) and Cochrane databases (52.5%); direct access to these 2 resources varied among participants.

Conclusions: Athletic trainers had positive attitudes toward the implementation of EBP within didactic education and clinical practice. However, accessibility and resource use remained low for some EBP-related resources. Although the perceived barriers to implementation are minimal, effective integration of EBP within athletic training will present challenges until these barriers dissolve.

Original Publication Citation

McCarty, C. W., Hankemeier, D. A., Walter, J. M., Newton, E. J., & Van Lunen, B. L. (2013). Use of evidence-based practice among athletic training educators, clinicians, and students, Part 2: Attitudes, beliefs, accessibility, and barriers. Journal of Athletic Training, 48(3), 405-415. doi: 10.4085/1062-6050-48.2.19