Purpose: To examine practitioners’, coaches’, and athletes’ perceptions of evidence-based practice (EBP) in professional sport in Australia. Methods: One hundred thirty-eight participants (practitioners n = 67, coaches n = 39, and athletes n = 32) in various professional sports in Australia each completed a group-specific online questionnaire. Questions focused on perceptions of research, the contribution of participants’ own experience in implementing knowledge to practice, sources, and barriers for accessing and implementing EBP, preferred methods of feedback, and the required qualities of practitioners. Results: All practitioners reported using EBP, while most coaches and athletes believed that EBP contributes to individual performance and preparation (>85%). Practitioners’ preferred EBP information sources were “peer-reviewed journals” and “other practitioners within their sport,” while athlete sources were “practitioners within their sport” and “other athletes within their sport.” As primary barriers to accessing and implementing research, practitioners highlighted “time constraints,” “poor research translation,” and “nonapplicable research.” Practitioners ranked “informal conversation” as their most valued method of providing feedback; however, coaches prefer feedback from “scheduled meetings,” “online reports,” or “shared database.” Both athletes and coaches value “excellent knowledge of the sport,” “experience,” and “communication skills” in practitioners disseminating EBP. Conclusion: Practitioners, coaches, and athletes believe in the importance of EBP to their profession, although practitioners reported several barriers to accessing and implementing research as part of EBP. Athletes place a high value on experienced practitioners who have excellent knowledge of the sport and communication skills. Collectively, these findings can be used to further stakeholder understanding regarding EBP and the role of research to positively influence athlete health.
Schwarz, Duffield, and Fullagar are with the School of Sports, Exercise and Rehabilitation, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia. Schwarz and Skorski are with the Inst of Sports and Preventive Medicine, Saarland University, Saarbrücken, Germany. Harper is with the Dept of Allied Health Professions, Sport and Exercise, School of Human and Health Sciences, University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, United Kingdom. McCunn is with the Heart of Midlothian FC, Edinburgh, Scotland. Govus is with Sport and Exercise Science, La Trobe University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.
KyriakoulisK, PatelarouA, LaliotisA, et al. Educational strategies for teaching evidence-based practice to undergraduate health students: systematic review. J Edu Eval Health Prof. 2016;13:34. doi:10.3352/jeehp.2016.13.34)| false
FullagarHHK, HarperLD, GovusA,
. Practitioner perceptions of evidence-based practice in elite sport in the United States of America. J Strength Cond Res. 2019;33(11):2897–2904. PubMed ID: 31453942 doi:
FullagarHHK, HarperLD, GovusA, et al. Practitioner perceptions of evidence-based practice in elite sport in the United States of America. J Strength Cond Res. 2019;33(11):2897–2904. PubMed ID: 31453942 doi:10.1519/JSC.000000000000334831453942)| false
MaloneJJ, HarperLD, JonesB, et al. Perspectives of applied collaborative sport science research within professional team sports. Eur J Sport Sci. 2019;19(2):147–155. PubMed ID: 30009684 doi:10.1080/17461391.2018.149263230009684)| false
JonesB, TillK, EmmondsS, et al. Accessing off-field brains in sport; an applied research model to develop practice. Br J Sports Med. 2019;53(13):791–793. PubMed ID: 28818959 doi:10.1136/bjsports-2016-09708228818959)| false
WilliamsSJ, KendallL. Perceptions of elite coaches and sports scientists of the research needs for elite coaching practice. J Sports Sci. 2007;25(14):1577–1586. PubMed ID: 17852663 doi:10.1080/0264041070124555017852663)| false
ReadeI, RodgersW, SpriggsK. New ideas for high performance coaches: a case study of knowledge transfer in sport science. Int J Sports Sci Coach. 2008;3(3):335–354. doi:10.1260/174795408786238533)| false
BurgessDJ. The research doesn’t always apply: practical solutions to evidence-based training-load monitoring in elite team sports. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2017;12(2):136–141.10.1123/ijspp.2016-0608)| false
McCallA, DavisonM, CarlingC, et al. Can off-field “brains” provide a competitive advantage in professional football?Br J Sports Med. 2016;50(12):710–712. PubMed ID: 27252168 doi:10.1136/bjsports-2015-09580727252168)| false
TabakRG, KhoongEC, ChambersDA, et al. Bridging research and practice: models for dissemination and implementation research. Am J Prev Med. 2012;43(3):337–350. PubMed ID: 22898128 doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2012.05.024)| false
CouttsA. Working fast and working slow: the benefits of embedding research in high performance sport. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2016;11(1):1–2. PubMed ID: 26752203 doi:10.1123/IJSPP.2015-078126752203)| false
FinchCF. No longer lost in translation: the art and science of sports injury prevention implementation research. Br J Sports Med. 2011;45(16):1253–1257. PubMed ID: 21697220 doi:10.1136/bjsports-2011-09023021697220)| false