continuing Professional Education in Athletic training: Is Knowledge Acquired and retained?

Jennifer L. Doherty-Restrepo, Brian J. Hughes, Gianluca DelRossi


Background: Continuing education is required for athletic trainers (AT) to maintain their credentials, yet little is known regarding its acy. There is a void in athletic training research examining knowledge acquisition or retention relative to the instructional format of a continuing professional education (CPE) program.

Method: A pretest–posttest experimental design with comparison groups was used to assess ATs’ knowledge acquisition, knowledge retention, and satisfaction following a CPE program offered in either a lecture or interactive format addressing adult learning strategy preferences. After determination of the learning strategy preferences of a purposeful, non-random sample of 46 South Florida ATs, a 30-item multiple-choice exam was administered prior to, immediately after, and 1 month following the CPE program. Participant self-reported level of satisfaction was assessed with a questionnaire immediately following the CPE program.

Results: ATs in the lecture format acquired and retained more knowledge than ATs in the interactive format regardless of learning strategy preference. There was no ant decrease in knowledge observed 1 month following the CPE program regardless of learning strategy preference or treatment. No ant differences in level of satisfaction by treatment or by learning strategy preference were noted; however, 13 participants (28.3%) reported an excellent level of satisfaction, and  31 participants (67.4%) reported an above average level of satisfaction.

Conclusions: Data indicate that lecture format CPE programs may be optimal for knowledge acquisition and retention, independent of learning strategy preference. Knowledge retention did not decrease regardless of learning strategy prefer-ence or CPE format and actually demonstrated a further increase using the lecture format. Data suggest that participant satisfaction is independent of learning strategy preference and CPE format.

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