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Qualitative Inquiry in Athletic Training: Principles, Possibilities, and Promises

By William A. Pitney and Jenny Parker


OBJECTIVE: To discuss the principles of qualitative research and provide insights into how such methods can benefit the profession of athletic training. BACKGROUND: The growth of a profession is influenced by the type of research performed by its members. Although qualitative research methods can serve to answer many clinical and professional questions that help athletic trainers navigate their socioprofessional contexts, an informal review of the Journal of Athletic Training reveals a paucity of such methods. DESCRIPTION: We provide an overview of the characteristics of qualitative research and common data collection and analysis techniques. Practical examples related to athletic training are also offered. APPLICATIONS: Athletic trainers interact with other professionals, patients, athletes, and administrators and function in a larger society. Consequently, they are likely to face critical influences and phenomena that affect the meaning they give to their experiences. Qualitative research facilitates a depth of understanding related to our contexts that traditional research may not provide. Furthermore, qualitative research complements traditional ways of thinking about research itself and promotes a greater understanding related to specific phenomena. As the profession of athletic training continues to grow, qualitative research methods will assume a more prominent role. Thus, it will be necessary for consumers of athletic training research to understand the functional aspects of the qualitative paradigm

Topics: Communications
Publisher: National Athletic Trainers' Association, Inc.
Year: 2001
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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