Purpose: The delivery of healthcare services by athletic trainers (ATs) has evolved over the past two years as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Previous research has identified an integration of telemedicine as a necessary, urgent replacement for face-to-face patient encounters in athletic training; however, there is a lack of data to support the habitual and intentional change to one’s clinical practice that includes telemedicine. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to identify and analyze ATs respective stages of change related to telemedicine adoption, as well as explore motivating factors and barriers related to the adoption of telemedicine. Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study of 883 credentialed ATs. The survey contained a modified TTM stages of change assessment and 51-item telemedicine barriers and motives tool adapted from previous literature. A logistic regression was performed to assess highest level of education with telemedicine adoption status. Results: Overall, most ATs were categorized in the action, maintenance, and termination stage (n=551/882, 62.4%) for telemedicine adoption. Other participants were categorized in the stages as unaware (n=8, 0.9%), precontemplation (n=82, 9.3%), contemplation (n=78, 8.8%), and preparation (n=164, 18.6%). The logistic regression model was statistically significant (pConclusions: The results of the study suggest that most ATs have recently changed their delivery of healthcare in the last 6+ months and intend to maintain telemedicine use as part of their clinical practice. Additionally, telemedicine success was hampered by a lack of exposure but did feel that telemedicine fills gaps in patient care and addresses improved patient satisfaction. Additionally, increasing an ATs highest level of degree earned was associated with an increased likelihood of being in stage five on the modified-TTM assessment suggesting focused, professional development could sustain telemedicine use in athletic training.

Author Bio(s)

Gabrielle A. Griffin, SCAT, ATC is a graduate of the Arnold School of Public Health's advanced athletic training program at the University of South Carolina and is a certified athletic trainer.

Kenneth E. Games, PhD, LAT, ATC is a Professor in the Department of Applied Medicine and Rehabilitation at Indiana State University.

David F. Gallegos, MA, ATC, Cert MDT is an athletic trainer at Southwest Sport & Spine Center and certified telehealth facilitator.

Samantha E. Scarneo-Miller, PhD, ATC is an Assistant Professor and Program Director in the Division of Athletic Training at West Virginia University.

Amanda L. Kottak, DAT, LAT, ATC is an athletic trainer in physician practice at Hinsdale Orthopedics in Joliet, IL.

Zachary K. Winkelmann, PhD, SCAT, ATC is an athletic trainer and Clinical Assistant Professor in the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina. He is also a certified telehealth facilitator.




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