Objective: The objectives of this study were to examine if topics related to spirituality were being addressed in the curricula of athletic training education programs (ATEPs) and to investigate whether program directors (PDs) believed this to be a topic worthy of inclusion in ATEP experiences.

Design and Setting: A descriptive mixed method study using a web-based survey.

Subjects: The sample consisted of 291 PDs from accredited undergraduate ATEPs in the United States.

Measurements: The items measured included participants' institutional affiliation, years of experience and educational background, perceptions on the propriety of including spiritual topics in ATEP curricula, and general awareness of the literature surrounding spirituality and health.

Results: One hundred ten (79.7%) colleges/universities offered a course in spirituality outside the ATEP curriculum, but only 5 (3.6%) colleges/universities currently offered a course in the ATEP curriculum in which spirituality was the main focus. W e found that 89% of PDs believed there was a connection between spirituality and health/healing. Also, 69% agreed that spirituality should be addressed in a variety of ways within ATEPs. Forty seven percent agreed that it was appropriate to address spirituality with patients. Fourteen percent also reported that spirituality should be incorporated in the athletic training competencies and proficiencies.

Conclusions: These data suggest that the majority of PDs believe there is a connection between spirituality and health/healing, and that spirituality should be addressed in a variety of ways in ATEPs.

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Author notes

Dr. Udermann is an Assoc. Professor udermann.bria@uwlax.edu

Greta Schutte is an Asst. Athletic Trainer gschutte@tiu.edu

David Reineke is an Assoc. Professor reineke.davi@uwlax.edu

Bill Pitney is an Assoc. Professor wpitney@niu.edu

Mark Gibson is an Asst. Professor gibson.mark@uwlax.edu

Steven Murray is a Full Professor smurray@mesastate.edu