TitleEvidence for Economic Evaluations of Athletic Trainer Services.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsPeterson, C, Li, T
JournalJ Athl Train
Date Published07/2022
KeywordsCost-Benefit Analysis, Humans, Sports

OBJECTIVE: Literature suggests athletic trainers (ATs) can help address health needs in a more affordable way across a variety of settings. We aimed to assess if AT services were cost effective when compared with no AT services or services by other health providers.

DATA SOURCES: We performed a key word search in 5 databases: MEDLINE (FirstSearch), PubMed, Web of Science, SPORTDiscus, and Google Scholar. We also conducted a generic web search to identify any informal sources that met the eligibility criteria.

STUDY SELECTION: We used a comprehensive list of terms to search economic evaluation studies on ATs. Studies that met all the following criteria were included: economic evaluation studies on AT services, original studies written in English, and studies published in the last 10 years (2011 to present). Studies that examined either only costs or only benefits of AT services were excluded.

DATA EXTRACTION: We extracted data using a predefined checklist that included major components of economic evaluation and data regarding athletic training practice setting.

RESULTS: We extracted 5 articles in our review, most of which supported the use of AT services as economically viable. The practice settings studied in the articles were 2 high school settings, 2 military settings, and a community outreach program that included several practice settings. The authors of only 1 study used a standard economic evaluation method and took insurance status into account.

CONCLUSIONS: Our review showed that AT services can be a cost-effective option for addressing health care needs. However, the literature remains sparse, and an overall lack of consistency existed in outcome measures, analytical methods, and reporting practices, which reduced the comparability across studies. Authors of future studies on this topic should address these limitations, which will provide critical economic evidence to inform decision making on investing in AT services across various settings.

Alternate JournalJ Athl Train
PubMed ID35142843
PubMed Central IDPMC9528705