Date of Award

Fall 10-14-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

PhD Health Sciences


Health and Medical Sciences


Genevieve Pinto Zipp, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Vicci Lombardi, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Anthony Breitbach, Ph.D.


interprofessional education, athletic trainer educator, athletic training programs, perceptions, strategies, infuse, interprofessional collaboration, collaborative practice


BACKGROUND: As athletic trainers (ATs) educators and professionals we recognize the importance of preparing our students to practice as part of an interprofessional team and acknowledge that this training must begin while they are in the academy. Although there is lots of information about interprofessional education (IPE) in various other healthcare professions (HCPs), there is limited information about how AT educators are infusing IPE into the curriculum. To maximize the development of interprofessional teaming practices in healthcare we must first understand the most effective ways to infuse IPE in AT professional programs given how compact the curriculum is. Educators must ensure that they are effectively and meaningfully utilizing the limited time students are in the academy and those learning experiences are linked to curricular goals. The purpose of this study was to explore AT educators’ perceptions of collaborative practice, what is impacting AT educators knowledge in IPE, and how are they using that knowledge to infuse IPE within the curriculum. METHODS: A non-experimental, cross-sectional, exploratory, online survey, 3-phased approach to collected data during the 2020 – 2021 academic year. Phase 1 collected quantitative (QN) data using demographic questions, the modified Perceptions of Interprofessional Collaboration Model Questionnaire (PINCOM-Q) (Strype et al., 2014), and the Interprofessional Education Learning Activity Inventory in Athletic Training. Phase 2 collected qualitative (QL) data using the responses to open-ended survey questions and the responses to the closed-ended QN “yes or no” questions. The open-ended responses helped to further support, explain, and provide depth to the QN “yes or no” responses. QL responses were decoded, then encoded using an inductive approach translating participant responses into codes, categories, and themes. RESULTS: AT educators appear to have an overall agreeable and positive perception of interprofessional collaboration with a mean score of 2.5549. Common IPE strategies identified by AT educators were didactic (10.35%), case studies (9.81%), small group format, and clinical experiences (8.99%), large group format (8.72%), and simulation (8.17%). Most AT educators reported using theoretical frameworks when infusing IPE, although less than half were not aware or did not know if theory supported their IPE programming. From the QL survey, responses were coded using an inductive process. Intercoder agreement served as an external check for descriptive codes and themes. Themes that emerged further supported and provided insight to the QN data including perceived barriers, pressures, facilitators, benefits, evaluation, preparedness, and COVID curriculum changes. CONCLUSIONS: Overall AT educators have a positive agreeable perception about interprofessional collaboration. AT educators employ IPE strategies in line with the AT Associations white paper on IPE, although they noted consideration must be taken to account for the environment, resources, stakeholders involved, and the goals of the IPE activity deployed. Most AT educators appear to use theoretical frameworks to support the infusion of IPE into the curriculum. Study findings can lay the groundwork for AT educators to better communicate their needs with administrators and to further support the infusion of IPE into the AT curriculum. Keywords: interprofessional education, athletic trainer educator, athletic training programs, perceptions, strategies, infuse, interprofessional collaboration, collaborative practice