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Megan D. Granquist, Diane L. Gill and Renee N. Appaneal

Context:

Rehabilitation adherence is accepted as a critical component for attaining optimal outcomes. Poor adherence is recognized as a problem in the athletic training setting. Measurement has been inconsistent, and no measure has been developed for athletic training settings.

Objective:

To identify indicators of sportinjury rehabilitation adherence relevant to athletic training and develop a Rehabilitation Adherence Measure for Athletic Training (RAdMAT) based on these indicators.

Design:

Mixed methods, 3 steps.

Setting:

College athletic training facility.

Participants:

Practicing certified athletic trainers (ATCs; n = 7) generated items, experts (n = 12) reviewed them, and practicing ATCs (n = 164) completed the RAdMAT for their most, average, and least adherent athlete.

Main Outcome Measure:

RAdMAT.

Results:

The RAdMAT is 16 items with 3 subscales. Subscales and total have good internal consistency and clearly discriminate among adherence levels.

Conclusions:

The RAdMAT is based on scholarly literature and clinical practice, making it particularly appropriate for use in athletic training clinical practice or for research purposes.

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Megan D. Granquist, Leslie Podlog, Joanna R. Engel and Aubrey Newland

Context:

Adherence to sport-injury rehabilitation protocols may be pivotal in ensuring successful rehabilitation and return-to-play outcomes.

Objectives:

To investigate athletic trainers' perspectives related to the degree to which rehabilitation adherence is an issue in collegiate athletic training settings, gain insight from certified athletic trainers regarding the factors contributing to rehabilitation nonadherence (underadherence and overadherence), and ascertain views on the most effective means for promoting adherence.

Design:

Crosssectional, mixed methods.

Setting:

Collegiate athletic training in the United States.

Participants:

Certified athletic trainers (n = 479; 234 male, 245 female).

Main Outcome Measures:

Online survey consisting of 3 questions regarding rehabilitation adherence, each followed by an open-ended comments section. Descriptive statistics were calculated for quantitative items; hierarchical content analyses were conducted for qualitative items.

Results:

Most (98.3%) participants reported poor rehabilitation adherence to be a problem (1.7% = no problem, 29.2% = minor problem, 49.7% = problem, 19.4% = major problem), while most (98.96%) participants reported that they had athletes who exhibited poor rehabilitation adherence (1% = never, 71.4% = occasionally, 22.5% = often, 5% = always). In addition, the majority (97.91%) of participants reported that overadherence (eg, doing too much, failing to comply with activity restrictions, etc) was at least an occasional occurrence (2.1% = never, 69.3% = occasionally, 26.3% = often, 1.9% = always). Hierarchical content analyses regarding the constructs of poor adherence and overadherence revealed 4 major themes: the motivation to adhere, the development of good athletic trainer–athlete rapport and effective communication, athletic trainers' perception of the coaches' role in fostering adherence, and the influence of injury- or individual- (eg, injury severity, sport type, gender) specific characteristics on rehabilitation adherence.

Conclusions:

These results suggest that participants believe that underadherence (and to a lesser extent overadherence) is a frequent occurrence in collegiate athletic training settings. Strategies for enhancing rehabilitation adherence rates and preventing overadherence may therefore be important for optimizing rehabilitation outcomes.