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Reading: Athletic Trainers' Perceptions and Experiences with Interprofessional Practice


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Original Theory & Research

Athletic Trainers' Perceptions and Experiences with Interprofessional Practice


Ellanora Kraemer ,

175 W. Mark St., Maxwell Hall 372, Winona, MN 55987, US
About Ellanora

PhD, ATC, CSCS, Assistant Professor, Clinical Education Coordinator

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Kimberly Keeley,

Exercise & Rehabilitative Sciences Department, Slippery Rock University, US
About Kimberly
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Malissa Martin,

Department of Academic Affairs, Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions, US
About Malissa
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Anthony P. Breitbach

Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training, Saint Louis University, US
About Anthony P.
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INTRODUCTION Understanding athletic trainers’ (ATs) perceptions of and experiences with interprofessional collaborative practice (IPCP) can help improve their interactions with other healthcare professionals. The purpose of this study was to explore ATs’ perceptions (beliefs, benefits, barriers), experiences and recommended strategies related to IPCP.

METHODS 314 ATs (139 male, 175 female) completed an online survey that collected participant demographics in addition to sections about participants’ perceptions experiences related to IPCP and recommended strategies implementation of IPCP.

RESULTS Participants reported the primary sports medicine team should include ATs, orthopedic physicians and physical therapists (PTs) with the AT serving as the point person. Athletic trainers reported interacting most frequently with other ATs, orthopedic physicians and primary care physicians using a combination of direct and indirect communication methods. The primary benefits of IPCP included providing comprehensive patient care, building understanding of each other’s professions and professional growth. Barriers to collaboration centered on limited knowledge of providers’ scopes of training, inadequate communication, work setting, work schedules and providers’ attitudes toward each other and collaboration. Strategies to facilitate IPCP focused on building relationships with providers, establishing regular communication and understanding each other’s scope of training.

CONCLUSION Currently, ATs interact with other healthcare providers and have positive perceptions of IPCP. It is recommended that ATs build on the current relationships and aim to enhance them through purposeful communication.

How to Cite: Kraemer, E., Keeley, K., Martin, M. and Breitbach, A.P., 2019. Athletic Trainers' Perceptions and Experiences with Interprofessional Practice. Health, Interprofessional Practice and Education, 3(4), p.eP1171. DOI:
Published on 25 Jun 2019.
Peer Reviewed


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