Quality Improvement in Athletic Training Education on Female Athlete Triad
Keywords:Injury risk reduction, preparticipation exams and screenings, college and university patient population, female athlete triad
There are significant health risks associated with the female athlete triad (Triad), therefore early detection and prevention is key. Athletic trainers often serve as the frontline defense and can have a crucial role in identifying the Triad. Yet knowledge, confidence, and practice standards in the recognition, referral and treatment is lacking. The purpose of the following Quality Improvement document is to provide athletic trainers with a framework for improving Triad-specific knowledge, confidence, and practice standards. The 2014 Female Athletic Triad Coalition consensus statement provides an evidence-based risk stratification system for detection and referral of the Triad. The Coalition suggests including Triad-specific preparticipation examination (PPE) screening questions and utilization of the Female Athlete Triad Cumulative Risk Assessment on all clearance and return to play decisions for female athletes. Though there are efforts to educate athletic trainers about disordered eating in athletes, these efforts do not specifically include the Triad. Many female athletes are currently being cleared at their PPE without being adequately assessed for this syndrome or without appropriate referral for management and treatment. Therefore, it is important for ATs to improve their knowledge, confidence, and practice standards specific to the Triad.