Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Health and Human Performance


Exercise Science (MS)

First Advisor/Chairperson

Dr Megan Nelson


Burnout is a psychological condition consisting of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and a decreased sense of personal accomplishment and identity. Since the start of the pandemic, a significant increase in burnout has been reported by healthcare professionals, however, there is little known regarding the experiences of athletic trainers (ATs). PURPOSE: The purpose of our study was to investigate the association between burnout and COVID-19 related factors among ATs. METHODS: An electronic survey grouped by the Maslach Burnout Inventory – Human Services Survey, COVID-19 related workplace policies, and demographics was sent to 1,000 ATs through the National Athletic Trainer’s Association email listserv; participants were also recruited via a social media link. Pearson correlations or Kendall’s tau non-parametric correlations were used to measure the strength of the association between burnout and COVID-19 job-related items. One-way ANOVA was used to determine any differences between burnout scores across demographic factors. RESULTS: 81 ATs (age: 34.72 ± 11.27 y; career experience: 11.7 ± 10.6 y) across the US completed the survey (6% response rate). Emotional exhaustion depersonalization (EEDP) burnout was identified among 33.3% of the respondents. Correlations were found between EEDP burnout and poor financial compensation for increased responsibilities (n= 81; r=.212, p=.042), work hour alterations (n=78; r=.217, p=.037) and workload changes (n=78; r=.158, p=.128). CONCLUSIONS: Our findings support the COVID-19 pandemic changed the AT profession in novel ways. Moving forward, researchers should aim for a better understanding on the long-term effects of COVID-19 and effective strategies in alleviating burnout in the larger population of ATs.

Access Type

Open Access