Exploring the medication-related needs of sports medicine organizations

Athena Cannon, Mitchell S. Howard, Jean Moon, Todd Sorensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Medication-related services are provided by sports medicine organizations at all levels of competition; however, no studies have been conducted to date that have been aimed at evaluating the medication-related needs among members of each organization, the challenges associated with meeting these needs, and the potential utilization of pharmacists to facilitate these services for athletes. Objectives: To explore the medication-related needs within sports medicine organizations and identify where services provided by a pharmacist may assist in reaching organizational goals. Methods: Qualitative semistructured group interviews were utilized to identify the medication-related needs of sports medicine organizations in the U.S. Organizations, including orthopedic centers, sports medicine clinics, training centers, and athletic departments were recruited via email. A survey and a set of sample questions were sent to each participant to gather demographic information and allow time for the participant to reflect on their specific organization's medication-related needs in preparation for the interviews. A discussion guide was created to explore each organization's overarching medication-related functions and the challenges and successes related to their current policies and procedures regarding their medication-related needs. Each interview was conducted virtually, recorded, and transcribed into text. A thematic analysis was conducted by a primary and secondary coder. Themes and subthemes were identified from the codes and defined. Results: Nine organizations were recruited for participation. Of these, individuals from 3 Division 1 university-based athletic programs were interviewed. Twenty-one individuals participated across all 3 organizations including 16 athletic trainers, 4 physicians, and 1 dietitian. The thematic analysis revealed the following themes: Medication-Related Responsibilities, Barriers to Optimizing Medication Use, Contributions to Successful Implementation of the Medication-Related Services, and Opportunities to Improve Medication-Related Needs. Themes were reduced to subthemes to further describe the medication-related needs within each organization. Conclusion: Division 1 university-based athletic programs have medication-related needs and challenges that have the potential to be enhanced by services provided by pharmacists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S31-S38.e2
JournalJournal of the American Pharmacists Association
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2023

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