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J Athl Train. 1998 Oct-Dec; 33(4): 347–350.
PMCID: PMC1320586

Perceptions of Athletic Training Services by Collegiate Student-Athletes: A Measurement of Athlete Satisfaction

Scott Unruh, EdD, ATC/L



I evaluated the perceptions student-athletes had of their athletic trainers and of the medical coverage provided them by the athletic departments at their institutions. My intent was to assess differences between male and female athletes, between athletes of high-profile and low-profile sports, and between athletes who competed at the NCAA Division I and Division II levels. The research design was also directed at identifying any subgroup of student-athletes who demonstrated a significantly different perception toward their athletic trainer(s).

Design and Setting:

Questionnaires were sent to 32 athletic training programs at 28 NCAA Division I and II institutions. Eighteen of the 32 programs participated, yielding a 56% response.


A total of 343 student-athletes from 18 selected athletic programs at both the NCAA Division I and II levels participated. One questionnaire contained response errors and was not included in the analysis.


A questionnaire was developed and pilot tested at 3 collegiate settings apart from those participating in the study. Validity and reliability analyses were conducted and confirmed by additional professionals in the field of athletic training. Cumulative mean perception scores between groups were measured using independent t tests. Differences in scores between subgroups were measured using a 1-way analysis of variance.


I observed significant differences in mean cumulative perception scores between sex and sport-profile groups. Male athletes and athletes in high-profile sports demonstrated a higher mean perception score than did females and athletes in low-profile sports. There was no difference in scores when compared across athletic divisions. Subgroups of all the athletes participating were identified. Several subgroups demonstrated significant differences in mean cumulative perception scores.


Males and females in low-profile sports at Division II schools and females in high-profile sports at Division II schools had significantly lower mean perception scores than did other subgroups of athletes.

Full text

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Kahanov L, Fairchild PC. Discrepancies in perceptions held by injured athletes and athletic trainers during the initial injury evaluation. J Athl Train. 1994 Mar;29(1):70–75. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Fisher AC, Hoisington LL. Injured athletes' attitudes and judgments toward rehabilitation adherence. J Athl Train. 1993 Spring;28(1):48–54. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Fisher AC, Mullins SA, Frye PA. Athletic trainers' attitudes and judgments of injured athletes' rehabilitation adherence. J Athl Train. 1993 Spring;28(1):43–47. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Fitzpatrick R. Surveys of patient satisfaction: II--Designing a questionnaire and conducting a survey. BMJ. 1991 May 11;302(6785):1129–1132. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Ware JE, Jr, Snyder MK. Dimensions of patient attitudes regarding doctors and medical care services. Med Care. 1975 Aug;13(8):669–682. [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of Athletic Training are provided here courtesy of National Athletic Trainers Association