Athletic trainers' roles and responsibilities regarding academic adjustments as part of the concussion-management process in the secondary school setting

Document Type


Publication Title

Journal of Athletic Training


Context: Athletic trainers (ATs) play a vital role in managing the care of student-athletes after a sport-related concussion, yet little is known about their specific involvement in the implementation of academic adjustments as part of the concussionmanagement plan. Objective: To explore ATs' perceived roles and responsibilities regarding the implementation of academic adjustments for concussed student-athletes. Design: Qualitative study. Setting: Individual telephone interviews. Patients or Other Participants: Sixteen ATs employed in the secondary school setting (8 women, 8 men; age = 39.6 ± 7.9 years; athletic training experience = 15.1 ± 5.6 years), representing 12 states, were interviewed. Data Collection and Analysis: One telephone interview was conducted with each participant. After the interviews were transcribed, the data were analyzed and coded into themes and categories, which were determined via consensus of a 4-person research team. To decrease researcher bias, triangulation occurred through participant member checking, the inclusion of multiple researchers, and an internal auditor. Results: Several categories related to participants' perceptions regarding their roles and responsibilities within the academicadjustments process emerged from data analysis: (1) understanding of academic adjustments, (2) perceptions of their roles in academic adjustments, (3) initiation of academic adjustments, (4) facilitation of academic adjustments, and (5) lack of a role in the academic-adjustments process. Althoughmost ATs perceived that they had a role in the initiation and facilitation of academic adjustments for concussed student-athletes, some reported they did not want a role in the process. Regardless, participants frequently suggested the need for further education. Conclusions: These findings highlight that ATs either wanted to be involved in the implementation of academic adjustments but felt further education was needed or they did not want to be involved because they felt that it was not in their area of expertise. To create a cohesive concussion-management team, it is vital that ATs understand their individual and collaborative roles in the secondary school setting.

First Page


Last Page




Publication Date


This document is currently not available here.