The purpose of this study was to identify the level of confidence for primary care providers in authorizing athletic retum-to-play following sports-related injury. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (as cited in Patel, Yamasaki, & Brown, 2017) reported that 2.6 million children and teens ages 0-19 years are treated annually for sports-related injuries, and 7.2 million high school students participate in sports and suffer an estimated 2 million injuries that require 500,000 doctor visits and 30,000 hospitalizations annually. Although primary care providers are providing care for musculoskeletal and concussive injuries, Benham and Geier (2016) reported that they may not have the confidence, knowledge, or skill to manage common musculoskeletal conditions in their primary care practice. Excellent provisions of such care will require providers who are safe and confident in the management and treatment of sports-related injuries to ensure high-quality patient care (Benham & Geier, 2016). Researchers distributed written surveys, and links to a survey were distributed via social media postings, email, and SurveyMonkey to qualifying participants including Doctors of Medicine (MD), Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (DO), nurse practitioners (NP), and physician assistants (PA). Data collected indicated that only 47.6% primary care providers were confident with returning youth athletes back-to-play following a sports injury, 34.7% were confident in treating sports-related concussive injuries, and 50% were confident in treating sports-related musculoskeletal injuries. Primary care providers can use this information to expose areas for confidence improvement that can be met with continued education, in-services, and workshops. Schools of medicine and nursing can use these findings to improve musculoskeletal curricula in primary care education. Determining primary care provider confidence level in authorizing athletic retum-to-play is imperative in ensuring patient safety and access to thorough and competent care from initial injury to full resolution.


Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


Graduate Nursing

Degree Date


Publication Number


First Advisor

Dr. Sally Pearson

Second Advisor

Dr. Alena Lester

Document Type


Included in

Nursing Commons