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Research & Investigations in Sports Medicine

Inclusion of Cupping Therapy in CAATE Accredited Athletic Training Programs Curriculums

Submission: July 28, 2020;Published: August 19, 2020

DOI: 10.31031/RISM.2020.06.000650

ISSN: 2577-1914
Volume6 Issue5


To date, there appears to be a lack of research on the inclusion of cupping therapy in formal athletic training education. Previous studies have suggested that most athletic trainers use cupping therapy in their clinical practice but exhibit a gap in their perceived and actual knowledge of the modality. However, these studies did not evaluate whether the participants had participated in cupping therapy education within their professional curriculum. Thus, the purpose of this study was to describe the inclusion of cupping therapy within accredited athletic training programs.A total of 56 athletic trainers who serve as therapeutic modalities educators participated in this study (age= 44 ± 9 years, certified experience = 21 ± 9 years, faculty experience = 14 ± 8 years). Participants were sent an electronic survey by email that assessed demographic information, inclusion of cupping therapy in coursework, and impressions on the necessity of cupping therapy in clinical practice. Measures of central tendency (means, standard deviations, frequencies) were calculated for all survey items. Data was downloaded and analyzed using a commercially available statistics package (SPSS Version 26, IBM, Armonk, NY). The majority of faculty members reported including cupping therapy in lecture-based education but did not include cupping therapy in lab-based education. Additionally, most participants reported not including cupping therapy on exams, quizzes, or research papers. Most faculty members did not believe that cupping therapy was a necessary skill for athletic training (57.1%, n = 32) or that cupping therapy warranted inclusion in athletic training accreditation standards (67.9%, n = 38). This finding appears to be in contrast with previous research on clinical athletic trainers, which indicated that athletic trainers felt cupping therapy was a necessary skill. Considering this apparent difference in opinion, athletic training educators should consider increasing the level of coverage cupping therapy receives within their curriculum. Further research should be conducted to determine the best method of knowledge transfer regarding cupping therapy.

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