The Evidence-Based Practice Toolbox

Over the past several years, the athletic training profession has adopted multiple principles of evidence-based practice (EBP) to enhance clinical decision-making. Athletic training education in particular has made numerous changes to incorporate EBP concepts throughout athletic training didactic and clinical education. One of the most apparent changes at the professional education level was the inclusion of a new EBP content area in the 5th edition of the Athletic Training Education Competencies (NATA, 2011). At the post-professional education level, curricula are focused around six Post-Professional Core Competencies (quality improvement, professionalism, healthcare informatics, interdisciplinary collaboration, evidence-based practice, patient-centered care).

The Research and Education Foundation (REF) in collaboration with the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) have widely promoted the importance of evaluating the outcomes of athletic training services and embracing EBP in athletic training. To support clinical outcomes research in athletic training, the REF and NATA have partnered to allocate $1 million dollars in research funding. (Sauers, NATA News 2005)

In addition to changes in athletic training education, it is necessary that athletic training clinicians not affiliated with an education program be provided with continuing education opportunities that will help them adapt to current changes in patient care. In order to meet the demands of the 21st century healthcare system, it is vital that clinicians are appropriately trained in the use of information technology, assessment of clinical outcomes and evidence-based practice.(Sauers, NATA News 2005) Competency in these areas will enhance clinicians’ clinical decision making, which ultimately could lead to the enhancement of the athletic training services provided to our patients.

To align with the third primary initiative of the AT-PBRN, we offer clinician members with the Evidence-Based Practice Toolbox. The EBP Toolbox provides direct support to the education and training of athletic trainers, with an emphasis in EBP and clinical outcomes assessment. We encourage members to check the EBP Toolbox frequently, and to look for the AT-PBRN symbol, which identifies the education and training opportunities available to receive continuing education units.

Additional Resources

Online Courses

Online training courses in Evidence Based Practice and Outcomes Assessment, provided by the AT-PBRN. 

Graduate Certificate in Clinical Decision-Making in Athletic Training

Online programs offered by A.T. Still University Athletic Training - focuses on advanced training in EBP, clinical outcomes, medical informatics, and epidemiology.

ATPBRN Research

A list of the Research Initiatives of the AT-PBRN, including publications and grants.

The Value of Critically Appraised Literature

Learn about the 3rd step in the EBP process, critical appraisal of the literature.

Additional Education and Training Resources

Journal articles and books relating to clinical outcomes and evidence based practice.

Athletic Training Education that meets you were you're AT!