'Knowing the noise that surrounds the athlete': a qualitative study exploring the health seeking behaviours of athletes with limb deficiency drawing on the experiences and perceptions of the medical staff and athletes

Eleanor Jones, Paul Martin, Marc Barr, Andy Soundy, Nicola R Heneghan

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To explore the health seeking behaviours (HSB) of athletes with limb deficiency, drawing on the experiences and perception of the SMT and athletes.

DESIGN: An interpretive hermeneutic phenomenological methodology with a subtle realist paradigmatic view to investigate commonality in unique experiences within reality. Data collection was completed with two focus groups in December 2019 and March 2020. Thirteen participants took part including athletes and SMT members (Physiotherapists, Doctors, and Strength and Conditioning Coaches) working in Parasports. Focus group manuscripts were transcribed verbatim from audio recordings. An inductive, iterative process was used to identify themes and subthemes, with processes in place to establish rigour.

RESULTS: Two themes and five sub themes emerged in relation to the 'internalisation and adjustment to social identity' and 'the importance and impact of factors which impact the athlete social identity'.

CONCLUSIONS: HSB of athletes with limb deficiency were influenced by a unique blend of personal and environmental factors that contribute towards social identity. The SMT require specific awareness of factors that may diminish HSB to deliver a personalised approach and negate consequences.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican journal of physical medicine & rehabilitation
Early online date15 Jun 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Jun 2022

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