Date of Award

Spring 5-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

PhD Health Sciences


Health and Medical Sciences


Genevieve Pinto Zipp, Ed.D

Committee Member

Vikram Dayalu, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Anthony Breitbach, Ph.D.


athletic training, interprofessional education, interprofessional practice, perceptions, adult learning


An Exploratory Study on Perceptions of (IPE) Towards Interprofessional Practice in Athletic Training

Context: Healthcare professional, including athletic trainers (ATs), are called to be collaborative-ready practitioners to effectively meet the needs of today’s patient-centered care. Currently, little research exists exploring the infusion of IPE (interprofessional education) practices in athletic training programs or its effectiveness in producing collaborative-ready athletic training (AT) professionals. While research is needed to evaluate whether IPE learning models can produce AT professionals that are collaborative-ready for PCC (patient-centered care) several foundational questions should be addressed. First, educational researchers need to establish an understanding of athletic trainers’ perceptions toward interprofessional practice (IPP), IPE, and the athletic trainer’s role as perceptions are often linked to action. Additionally, exploring if perceptions of IPE are different amongst practicing athletic trainers and athletic training students would aid in providing a strong foundation for educators as they develop IPE learning experiences that are meaningful. Objective: To explore athletic training students and AT professionals perceptions toward interprofessional practice in athletic training using the Interdisciplinary Education Perceptions Scale (IEPS). Additionally, to identify factors in the demographic profile that impact perceptions of knowledge, skills, and abilities towards interprofessional practice among athletic training students and professionals. Design: A concurrent mixed method embedded design. Setting: Online survey instrument. Participants: 386 athletic training program directors received an email invitation to participate in the study with the request to forward the survey link to students, alumni, and preceptors. The final sample population size was (N=188). Interventions: Participants completed the Interprofessional Education Perceptions Survey (IEPS, McFadyen et al., 2007), a demographic profile and three open-ended questions. Results: Overall, the average mean scores on the IEPS was high, 62 out of 72, suggesting positive perceptions toward IPE and IP collaboration between the variables tested. An independent-samples t-test (α= 0.05, t= (68.2)-.16, p =.88.) conducted between athletic training students (M=61, SD±12.71) and athletic training professionals (M=62, SD ±.064) was found to be statistically not significant. Suggesting no difference in perceptions between athletic training students and AT professionals. Results of an independent t-test (α= 0.05 t= (185), 0.74, p= .23 between programs located with other health profession programs (HPPs), (M = 64, SD ±9.6) and those not located (M = 62, SD ± 7) with other HPPs was found to be statistically not significant. A very small, but significant difference t (161) =1.64, p=.051(one-tailed), d=.3 was found on IEPS composite scores between participants who received structured IPE instruction (M=62, SD ±8.7) and participants’ who did not (M=59, SD±10.6). Results suggest participants who received structured IPE, had slightly more positive perceptions of IPE and collaborative practice. ANOVA results for the four academic degree levels (Bachelor’s, ELM, PPM, Doctorate), F (3, 184) = 1.72, p =.17 was found to be statistically not significant. Results suggest no difference in perceptions of IPE and collaborative practice between academic degrees. Results from the open-ended question identified simulation lab, case scenarios and hands-on as highly relevant to the students learning experience. Conclusion: In this study, athletic training students and athletic training professionals, highly valued IPE, IP collaborations, and recognized its impact on PCC. Understanding one’s self and one’s beliefs, behaviors and attitudes enable a professional to identify possible areas of collaboration with other disciplines. It creates openness, understanding of working together and developing skills for teamwork. Therefore, while perceptions do not infer actions or produce identified behavior, it does provide the foundational base to support the body of knowledge regarding IPE effectiveness.

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