An evidence-based practice educational intervention for athletic trainers: A randomized controlled trial

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Journal of Athletic Training


Context: As evidence-based practice (EBP) becomes a necessity in athletic training, Web-based modules have been developed and made available to the National Athletic Trainers' Association membership as a mechanism to educate athletic trainers (ATs) on concepts of EBP. Objective: To assess the effect of an educational intervention on enhancing knowledge of EBP among ATs. Design: Randomized controlled trial. Setting: Web-based modules and knowledge assessment. Patients or Other Participants: A total of 164 of 473 ATs (34.7% response rate), including professional athletic training students, graduate students, clinical preceptors, educators, and clinicians, were randomized into a control group (40 men, 42 women) or experimental group (33 men, 49 women). Intervention(s): Ten Web-based modules were developed that covered concepts involved in the EBP process. Both groups completed the Evidence-Based Practice Knowledge Assessment before and after the intervention phase. During the intervention phase, the experimental group had access to the Web-based modules for 4 weeks, whereas the control group had no direct responsibilities for the investigation. The knowledge assessment consisted of 60 multiple choice questions pertaining to concepts presented in the 10 modules. Test-retest reliability was determined to be good (intraclass correlation coefficient [2,1] = 0.726, 95% confidence interval = 0.605, 0.814). Main Outcome Measure(s): Independent variables consisted of group (control, experimental) and time (preassessment, postassessment). Knowledge scores were tabulated by awarding 1 point for each correct answer (maximum = 60). Betweengroup and within-group differences were calculated using a 2 × 2 repeated-measures analysis of variance (P ≤ .05), post hoc t tests, and Hedges g effect size with 95% confidence intervals. Results: We found a group × time interaction (F 1,162 = 26.29, P < .001). No differences were identified between the control (30.12 ± 5.73) and experimental (30.65 ± 5.93) groups during the preassessment (t162 = 0.58, P = .84). The experimental group (36.35 ± 8.58) obtained higher scores on the postassessment than the control group (30.99 ± 6.33; t162= 4.55, P = .01). No differences were identified among time instances within the control group (t81=1.77, P=.08); however, the experimental group obtained higher scores on the postassessment than the preassessment (t81 = 7.07, P < .001). Conclusions: An educational intervention consisting of 10 Web-based modules was an effective mechanism to increase knowledge of foundational EBP concepts among ATs. However, it is not known whether ATs are integrating EBP into daily clinical practice. Researchers should determine whether increased knowledge of EBP affects the daily clinical decision making of ATs. © 2014 by the National Athletic Trainers' Association, Inc.

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