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Athletic Trainers’ Perceptions of Their Scope of Practice

Cailee E. Welch Bacon, Nydia L. Cabra, Taryn C. Pennington, Lindsey E. Eberman, and Julie M. Cavallario

All athletic trainers (ATs) must meet regulatory standards as outlined in state practice acts. While state practice acts are similar, some variations can lead to misunderstanding or unfamiliarity with appropriate scopes of practice. We aimed to describe ATs’ perceptions regarding athletic training scope of practice. Only 29.7% of respondents correctly identified state government as the agency that defines athletic training scope of practice and 51.7% agreed their respective state practice act limits the skills they can perform. To advocate for the profession, ATs must have a primary understanding of the laws and regulations that promote ATs to work at their fullest ability.

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The Association of Sport Specialization With Youth Ice Hockey Position and Youth Ice Hockey Parents’ Perceptions of Sport Specialization

Madeline Winans, Kevin M. Biese, Grace Rudek, Madison N. Renner, Julie M. Stamm, and David R. Bell

Attitudes and beliefs of parents about sport specialization may indicate why youth athletes decide to specialize. The purpose of this study was to determine the association between sport specialization level, ice hockey position, and the parent/guardians’ attitudes and beliefs on sport specialization. Our results demonstrate that goalies were the most likely to specialize, and parents of specialized ice hockey players tend to believe that sport specialization helps their child achieve future sporting aspirations. Increased sport specialization may put ice hockey goalies at an increased risk for overuse injuries, and parents’ beliefs about sport specialization may impact their child’s sporting behaviors.

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Descriptive Epidemiology of Campus Recreation Injuries

Jenna Morogiello, Rebekah Roessler, and Maddison Flowers

Campus recreation is an underserved population lacking specific medical standards, access to on-site medical personnel, and a universal injury surveillance system. The purpose of this study was to retrospectively examine injury epidemiology within a campus recreation center across 4 years. A total of 1,680 injuries were analyzed from one U.S. university with the greatest number of injuries occurring in intramural sports, informal recreation, and club sports, respectively. Of all injuries reported, 73% were musculoskeletal in nature and 9% were from concussions. As most injuries fall outside the scope of basic first aid, on-site medical services should be considered for all campus recreation settings.

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Concussive Biomechanics in a Women’s Soccer Player: A Validation Clinical Case Report

Hallie D. Sayre and Tom G. Bowman

A concussed 19-year-old female midfielder on an National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III soccer team reported to the athletic training clinic complaining of a headache that began 4 days previously during a game where she headed several long punts. Despite delayed reporting, the patient returned to full participation without complication 13 days after her injury. The biomechanical data for the impacts she received on the day of injury were much lower than those presented in the literature as causing concussion for male athletes. Therefore, impact magnitude should not be used as an indicator for injury, as smaller, seemingly insignificant impacts can cause concussion.

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Effects of COVID-19 Sport Suspension on Injury Rates in Elite Athletes: A Critically Appraised Topic

Courtney N. Copeland, Emily A. Hall, and Gary W. Cohen

Clinical Scenario: With the enforcement of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, sports teams worldwide were required to make drastic adjustments to their training regimen. This prolonged sport suspension resulted in a significant decrease in off-season and preseason training periods. Clinical Question: Are professional athletes who experienced a sport suspension during the COVID-19 pandemic at a higher risk of injury once they return to competition compared with pre-COVID-19 seasons? Summary of Key Findings: The literature was searched for articles examining the effects of COVID-19 sport suspension on athletic injury rates in elite athletes. A total of 240 articles were retrieved, and after exclusion criteria and removal of duplicates, four retrospective cohort studies remained. An increase in injury rates across studies after their sport suspension compared with pre-COVID-19 seasons was found. Clinical Bottom Line: The extended suspension from physical activity increased the risk of injury as players returned to sport training post-COVID-19 restrictions. While these studies demonstrated the effects on elite-level athletes, prolonged sport suspension may impact different patient populations. Strength of Recommendation: Based on the Strength of Recommendation Taxonomy Scale, this critically appraised topic received a B grade for consistent but limited-quality patient-oriented evidence, with a low number of articles included.

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The Effects of Preparedness and Activity on Head Impacts in Lacrosse Athletes

Catherine E. Rogerson, Bradley C. Jackson, Katherine M. Breedlove, and Thomas G. Bowman

Considering the frequency and magnitude of head impacts occurring during sport participation is important to guide prevention initiatives. Our purpose was to compare magnitude and frequency of lacrosse players’ head impacts based on anticipation level and impact activity. Lacrosse athletes (16 men, 15 women) wore xPatch sensors during games and practices that measured impact magnitude (linear and rotational accelerations) and frequency of video verified head impacts. The interaction between impact activity and preparedness was not significant, multivariate: F(8, 1,730) = 1.03, p = .41, η2 = .01. Having a detailed understanding of the characteristics of head impacts could allow for focused interventions to reduce injury risk.

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Low Back Pain and the Social Determinants of Health: A Systematic Review and Narrative Synthesis: A Critically Appraised Paper

J.C. Andersen and Heather VanOpdorp

Focused Clinical Question: In adult patients with persistent low back pain, what relationship do social determinants of health have on pain frequency or severity? Bottom Line: This systematic review identified several particular social risk factors (including education status, socioeconomic status, and occupational factors) that are consistently associated with adverse low back pain outcomes. In addition, the analysis of the population-representative (cross-sectional) studies demonstrated support for important associations between specific social determinants of health, such as low socioeconomic status/income status and employment status and chronic low back pain prevalence.

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Continuing Education Assessment

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Volume 28 (2023): Issue 1 (Jan 2023)

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Efficacy of Helmet Use on Head Injury Reduction in Snow Sports: A Critically Appraised Topic

Kaelin Agar, Spencer DeMedal, Abbigail Delmonte, Lauren Bell, Kyle Fisher, and Erica Beidler

Context: Review articles published in 2010 concluded that there was strong evidence to support the use of helmets as a way to decrease the risk of sustaining a head injury during snow sport participation. However, new research published over the last decade on this relationship warrants revisiting this primary injury prevention approach. Clinical Question: What is the effect of helmet use on the occurrence of head injuries in snow sports? Clinical Bottom Line: The results from the included studies did not consistently find a reduction in head injury occurrence with helmet use in snow sports. Rather, the collective findings were more supportive of a neutral relationship between helmet use and head injuries. Therefore, these heterogeneous findings indicate there is SORT Level B evidence to support the use of helmets as a primary head injury prevention approach in snow sports. Future initiatives should acknowledge the multifaceted nature of injury occurrence and seek to educate the public more clearly on the limitations of helmet use during skiing and snowboarding.