Determination of compliance with the NATA recommendations for care of intercollegiate athletes among higher education institutions in Indiana
The only certainty in college athletics is that injuries to athletes will occur. This is where the institution must have a medical staff available, which is led by the athletic trainer. Athletic trainers are responsible for the care of athletes. These responsibilities' include injury prevention, care, treatment, and rehabilitation of an athlete's injury, as well as serving as the link between the athletes and the doctors.In March of 2000 the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) released information concerning it's' recommendations for appropriate medical coverage of intercollegiate athletes. These recommendations included activities such as: risk management and injury prevention; recognition and treatment of injuries; rehabilitation; psychosocial intervention and referral; nutritional aspects of injuries, health care administration; professional development to maintain knowledge; and determination of whether or not an athlete is capable of participation.The purpose of this study is to determine if the higher educational institutions in the State of Indiana are satisfying the recommended guidelines for the care of their intercollegiate athletes set forth by the NATA. Head athletic trainers will be surveyed to determine if they are meeting the recommendations and guidelines.The following research questions will be examined:Are the higher education institutions satisfying the recommendations and guidelines for care of athlete's recommended by the NATA?What is the relationship to those that are satisfying the recommendations of the NATA and their NCAA division size?Do athletic directors' and athletic trainers' opinions differ on whether or not their institutions are satisfying the recommendations provided by the NATA?This study will be delimited to head athletic trainers at NCAA institutions in the State of Indiana that have intercollegiate athletics. The limitation for this study will be that the return rate of the survey may be low, do to the fact that athletic trainers are very busy.The assumption that the head athletic trainers are aware of the recommendations and guidelines provided by the NATA and have already performed the worksheet. This study is important because it will address whether or not the institutions in the State of Indiana are meeting the recommended guidelines set forth by the NATA for the medical care of student athletes. Also it is important because there have not been any studies done yet addressing this question since the recommendations just came out in March 2000. This study will help the state of Indiana determine if there needs to be action taken towards upgrading the medical coverage at its higher education institutions.The review of literature suggests that intercollegiate athletics are making steps in the right direction towards improving and defining what is the standard of care necessary for student-athletes. The methods for this study will be as follows. Approximately two weeks before the start of this study the researcher will develop a survey that will be given to three experts in the field to establish content validity. After the survey is revised, the researcher will obtain approval from the Ball State University Institutional Review Board before the surveys are mailed out. The researcher will mail out the surveys to each head athletic trainer of the selected Indiana institutions. The participants will have 20 days to fill out the survey. There will be a phone call 10 days after the survey has been mailed out to make sure they received it and also to remind them to fill it out. After 20 days if the researcher has not received all of the surveys, there will then be a second mailing that will again contain a self-addressed stamped envelope to return the survey. After follow-up to non-respondents, data analysis will take place to examine the number of institutions that are satisfying the recommendations and guidelines provided by the NATA.