Potential Predictors of Adequate Knowledge of First Aid Principles among Texas High School Coaches
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The purpose of this study was to identify potential predictors of adequate knowledge of first aid principles applied to the athletic setting among Texas high school (HS) coaches. Participants were 169 HS coaches near Austin, Texas, who participated by filling out a demographic questionnaire and a 27-item First Aid Assessment (FAA) which assessing both first aid and CPR knowledge. Data were analyzed for correlation or group differences between FAA score and demographic data. ANOVA, χ2, and regression analysis were performed on the data using Statview 5.0. A significant difference in FAA score was observed between respondents who had taken a course in Care & Prevention course and those who had not. A significant positive correlation existed between years of experience and FAA score (R = .23, p = .002). However, there was no significant relationship between FAA score and certification in first aid, certification in CPR or undergraduate major. The results of the study indicate that years of experience are the most important factor in predicting coaches’ knowledge of first aid principles. Coaches’ overall knowledge of first aid principles was found to be insufficient to adequately safeguard the health of high school athletes, with 30.2% of coaches failing the FAA (score < 70%). Results emphasize the importance of employing professionally trained personnel to provide athlete health care. Future research should establish exactly what knowledge is essential for coaches, and investigate alternative training models that more effectively equip coaches with the knowledge needed to act prudently regarding athletic injury or illness.