Practice-based research networks, part II: A descriptive analysis of the athletic training practice-based research network in the secondary school setting

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Journal of Athletic Training


Context: Analysis of health care service models requires the collection and evaluation of basic practice characterization data. Practice-based research networks (PBRNs) provide a framework for gathering data useful in characterizing clinical practice. Objective: To describe preliminary secondary school setting practice data from the Athletic Training Practice-Based Research Network (AT-PBRN). Design: Descriptive study. Setting: Secondary school athletic training facilities within the AT-PBRN. Patients or Other Participants: Clinicians (n = 22) and their patients (n = 2523) from the AT-PBRN. Main Outcome Measure(s): A Web-based survey was used to obtain data on clinical practice site and clinician characteristics. Patient and practice characteristics were obtained via deidentified electronic medical record data collected between September 1, 2009, and April 1, 2011. Descriptive data regarding the clinician and CPS practice characteristics are reported as percentages and frequencies. Descriptive analysis of patient encounters and practice characteristic data was performed, with the percentages and frequencies of the type of injuries recorded at initial evaluation, type of treatment received at initial evaluation, daily treatment, and daily sign-in procedures. Results: The AT-PBRN had secondary school sites in 7 states, and most athletic trainers at those sites (78.2%) had less than 5 years of experience. The secondary school sites within the AT-PBRN documented 2523 patients treated across 3140 encounters. Patients most frequently sought care for a current injury (61.3%), followed by preventive services (24.0%), and new injuries (14.7%). The most common diagnoses were ankle sprain/strain (17.9%), hip sprain/strain (12.5%), concussion (12.0%), and knee pain (2.5%). The most frequent procedures were athletic trainer evaluation (53.9%), hot- or cold-pack application (26.0%), strapping (10.3%), and therapeutic exercise (5.7%). The median number of treatments per injury was 3 (interquartile range = 2, 4; range = 2-19). Conclusions: These preliminary data describe services provided by clinicians within the AT-PBRN and demonstrate the usefulness of the PBRN model for obtaining such data. © by the National Athletic Trainers' Association, Inc.

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