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DOI

10.25035/jsmahs.05.03.06

Abstract

Purpose: To date, there does not appear to be a study published that has examined the prevalence of clinical use and the perceived and actual knowledge of cupping therapy that clinicians possess. The purpose of this study was to determine the perceived and actual knowledge of cupping therapy among athletic trainers. Methods: 113 certified athletic trainers completed the study (age = 35 ± 10 years, years of certified experience = 12 ± 10 years). Participants were sent an electronic survey via email that assessed frequency of usage, perceived knowledge, and actual knowledge of cupping therapy. Data were downloaded and analyzed using a commercially-available statistics package (SPSS Version 25, IBM, Armonk, NY). Measures of central tendency (means, standard deviations, frequencies) were calculated for all survey items. A Pearson correlation was calculated for the perceived knowledge and actual knowledge items to identify a knowledge gap between what one believes they know and actually what they do know. Finally, an independent samples t-test was used to explore differences on the actual knowledge assessment based on prior education. Significance was set at P < .05 a priori. Results: The majority of certified athletic trainers reported not viewing the use of cupping therapy as necessary to their clinical practice. However, the majority also reported using cupping therapy at least once in the past week when treating patients. Regarding perceived knowledge, the majority of respondents were in the mid-range of agreement/disagreement, indicating at least some level of uncertainty. Average scores on actual knowledge were 8.90±1.34 out of 12 questions. A poor positive relationship was found between perceived and actual knowledge (r = 0.125, P = 0.259). We also identified a poor positive relationship (r = 0.079, P = 0.439) between the actual knowledge assessment score and the likelihood to pursue continuing education item from the perceived knowledge assessment. Conclusions: While the majority of athletic trainers did not view cupping therapy as necessary to their clinical practice, the majority did use the tool in their weekly practice. The relationship between actual knowledge and pursuit of continuing education suggestion that continuing education may improve knowledge of cupping therapy.

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