Context: Reported injury rates and services in sports injury surveillance may be influenced by the employment setting of the certified athletic trainers (ATs) reporting these data.
Objective: To determine whether injury rates and the average number of AT services per injury in high school football varied by AT employment status.
Design: Cross-sectional study.
Setting: We used data from the National Athletic Treatment, Injury and Outcomes Network and surveyed ATs about their employment setting.
Patients or other participants: Forty-four responding ATs (37.9% of all National Athletic Treatment, Injury and Outcomes Network participants) worked at high schools with football programs and were included in this study. Fourteen ATs were full-time employees of the high school, and 30 ATs were employed as outreach ATs (i.e., full-time and part-time ATs from nearby clinics, hospitals, and graduate school programs).
Main outcome measure(s): We calculated injury rates per 1000 athlete-exposures and average number of AT services per injury.
Results: Reported injury rates and services per injury were greater among full-time school employees compared with outreach ATs. However, injury rates did not differ when restricted to time-loss injuries only.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that ATs who are full-time school employees may be able to identify and care for more patients with injuries.
Keywords: coverage; medical services; secondary school.