High School Coaches’ Knowledge and Behaviors for Emergency Preparedness

in International Sport Coaching Journal
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  • 1 University of Connecticut
  • | 2 West Virginia University
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Emergency action plans (EAPs) are considered best practice for the preparation of catastrophic events in sports and, when adequate, can effectively improve patient outcomes. The EAPs should include a collaboration of all personnel involved in the sporting activities, with high school coaches being well-positioned to implement these plans. Therefore, coaches can have a direct influence on the health and safety of their athletes through their involvement in an emergency response. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the understanding and adoption of EAPs as reported by coaches. A web-based questionnaire assessed adoption of an EAP; decisional stages for adoption of components of an EAP; and various characteristics (e.g., access to an athletic trainer facilitators and barriers). A total of 720 responses were included in this study. Nearly 25% of coaches reported being unaware if their school had an EAP, and coaches were more likely to adopt a comprehensive EAP if their school had access to an athletic trainer. A majority of coaches perceived financial assistance as a facilitator and financial limitations as a barrier for EAP implementation. The findings of this investigation illustrate the need for improved coaches’ educational awareness of emergency preparedness strategies within the high school setting.

Dierickx and Casa are with the Korey Stringer Institute, Department of Kinesiology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA. Scarneo-Miller is with the Division of Athletic Training, School of Medicine, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, USA.

Dierickx (Erin.dierickx@uconn.edu) is corresponding author.
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