Over the past decades research within the field of sports medicine has yielded a large amount of evidence of the prevention and treatment of athletic injuries. Despite the availability of high quality evidence, compliance to interventions that protect athletes’ health is low. Consequently, evidence-based programs are not achieving their optimal effect in real-life athletic situations. Implementation and knowledge translation are the contemporary incantations to resolve this apparent gap between science and practice. This has provided us novel research questions and challenges that follow on efficacious outcomes. Most of these questions are not answered through quantifiable outcomes measures as they revolve around user behaviors. This editorial argues that if we want to know why athletes and coaches behave as they do, and what barriers there may be to changing their behavior, qualitative research can be used to give athletes and coaches a voice.
- STUDY OUTCOMES LEAD TO NEW QUESTIONS. . .
- . . .BUT NEW QUESTIONS SOMETIMES REQUIRE NEW APPROACHES
- GIVING ATHLETES AND COACHES A VOICE
Truth be told, such approaches are not completely new in our field and examples of qualitative methodology in sports injury research are available. However, such efforts remain sporadic and not always find their way to the main- stream sports medicine journals despite the resulting practical messages. A lack of understanding of qualitative methods may play a role and we highly recommend readers to get at least a basic understanding of what qualitative approaches entail. Once understood, it becomes clear that qualitative methods—if employed properly—provide systematic, reproducible, and coherent answers to the practically oriented questions that we now face as barriers toward providing safe sports for all.
Verhagen E, Bolling C. We dare to ask new questions. Are we also brave enough to change our approaches?. Transl Sports Med. 2018;1:54–55.