Date of Graduation

Spring 2015


Master of Science in Athletic Training



Committee Chair

Tona Hetzler


disability, competence, education, athletic training, healthcare

Subject Categories

Sports Sciences


There is limited research on the knowledge, attitudes and level of competence of certified athletic trainers (ATCs) towards providing care for athletes with cerebral palsy (CP). There is also a lack of educational preparation for ATCs on this subject. According to several physicians, there are many mild forms of CP that go un-diagnosed. ATCs need to be formally educated on athletes with CP so when they are providing care for athletes, they can understand and be competent in their abilities to care for this population. The primary objectives of this study were to examine the knowledge and attitudes of ATCs toward providing care for athletes with CP, examine the level of competence ATCs feel they have toward providing care for athletes with CP and to explore whether a relationship exists between years of experience and education, knowledge and attitudes, and competence toward providing care for athletes with CP. The results from the study showed the average knowledge and attitudes score of ATCs was low to moderate. The average self-reported level of competence ATCs felt they have toward providing care for athletes with CP was only somewhat competent. Positive relationships were found between knowledge and attitudes score and reported level of competence, years of experience and reported level of competence, as well as level of preparedness from courses and knowledge and attitudes score. Based on the results of this study, there is a need to include information about athletes with CP in the athletic training curriculum as well as opportunities for clinical experiences that allow interaction with athletes with CP.


© Amy Elizabeth Smith

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