Qualitative Research in Physical Activity and the Health Professions

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Qualitative research is increasingly more common in the health professions, but most general research texts are limited in their discussion of the guiding principles of qualitative research. As a result, it is difficult for students and practitioners in the fields of athletic training, physical education, fitness, and health to sort out and apply the concepts involved in this method of research.

Qualitative Research in Physical Activity and the Health Professions puts to rest any confusion or misunderstanding about this type of research. The text clearly explains the underlying principles of qualitative inquiry, making it easy for students and practitioners to understand how to design, conduct, and evaluate qualitative research studies.

Written by two authors who have conducted numerous qualitative studies, taught graduate-level research courses, and advised many master's and doctoral students who have used qualitative methods in their pursuits, this text provides a focused approach to qualitative research for students and professionals in the physical activity and health care fields:

-Numerous pedagogical aids facilitate the learning process, including Learning Objectives, Dialogue Boxes that feature students' questions in a Q&A format, Take-Home Messages that summarize each chapter, Learning Activities that students may perform on their own time as an assignment, and Checking Your Knowledge sections that feature multiple-choice questions.

-The more familiar quantitative designs are contrasted with qualitative ones, making it easy for readers to follow the flow of information and make associations about how the two methods complement one another.

-Examples from current literature accentuate the essential components of an authentic qualitative research study, including observations, interviews, open-ended questions, and a format for analyzing data.

-Actual published articles are provided so that students can evaluate qualitative research methods.
Through Qualitative Research in Physical Activity and the Health Professions, readers learn how to frame a researchable problem, how to develop questions to gain insight that specifically applies to the problem, and how to guide the procedures for data collection and analysis.

The authors first present an overview of qualitative research and then explain the essential aspects of planning and designing the research. They address the modes of data collection and how to create a trustworthy study. They then discuss how to write qualitative research proposals and reports. Finally, they assist those who want to expand their knowledge of qualitative research by discussing the various forms and guiding readers in becoming good consumers of research. They also help readers deal with common challenges and criticisms of qualitative inquiry and provide suggested learning activities and supplemental reading. The result is a text that demystifies this very applicable type of research. Qualitative Research in Physical Activity and the Health Professions will greatly appeal to physical activity and health students and professionals alike as they seek to learn how to use qualitative research in their work.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Tamerah N. Hunt, PhD (The Ohio State University Medical Center)
Description: This book provides basic information about qualitative research design and development enhanced by educational tools such as pertinent research theories, graphs, and figures that clarify a very difficult topic to understand.
Purpose: It is designed as a practical book for those who are first learning about qualitative research. This admirable purpose is attained.
Audience: This book is ideal for novice qualitative researchers. Not only does it serve as a great reference tool, it also provides basic valuable information on qualitative research for those who conduct quantitative research. The authors bring real-life experience to tools they commonly use.
Features: A general summary of research begins the book, followed by the steps necessary to conduct a qualitative research project, and concluding with specific types of qualitative research and the assumptions about and arguments against qualitative research. The book balances basic information with real-life examples taken directly from previously published qualitative research by healthcare researchers. These examples provide an excellent way for novice researchers to emulate work in similar subject areas. Unlike traditional research textbooks, this one is elegantly illustrated with figures and easy to follow diagrams that create flow and an easy to understand research guide. This book does lack detailed information, although producing a textbook that is easy to read and understand and provides thorough details is almost impossible. This one captures two of the three aspects a researcher desires.
Assessment: This book uses figures, graphs, and excerpts from previously published articles while providing a basic introduction to qualitative research. This approach is different from other books that provide lots of information, very few examples, and limited practical applications that make it difficult for novice researchers to grasp the breadth of the material.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780736072137
  • Publisher: Human Kinetics Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/1/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 232
  • Sales rank: 430,805
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

William A. Pitney, EdD, ATC, is an associate professor in the department of kinesiology and physical education at Northern Illinois University. Dr. Pitney is a recognized leader in qualitative research in the athletic training profession. He has authored more than 20 peer-reviewed articles and two textbooks and is a section editor for the Journal of Athletic Training, in which he published one of the first articles on qualitative research. He is also the associate editor for the Athletic Training Education Journal and has served on the Great Lakes Athletic Trainers' Association Research Assistance Committee.

Dr. Pitney earned a bachelor's degree in physical education with a specialization in athletic training from Indiana State University in 1988, a master's degree in physical education from Eastern Michigan University in 1992, and an EdD in adult continuing education from Northern Illinois University in 2000. In his leisure time, he enjoys mountaineering, bicycling, and running.

Jenny Parker, EdD, is an associate professor in the department of kinesiology and physical education at Northern Illinois University. Dr. Parker has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and two book chapters and has presented at the state, regional, and national levels. She is a reviewer for Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, and she has obtained both internal and external research and instructional grant funding. Her experience with qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-method research studies greatly aided in shaping the book, as did her teaching expertise in providing pedagogical aspects and learning activities.

Dr. Parker earned her bachelor's degree in physical education at the College of St. Paul and St. Mary in England and earned her master's degree in physical education teaching analysis from the University of Oregon in 1991. She earned her EdD in physical education teacher education from the University of Massachusetts in 1996. She received an Outstanding Educator Award in Education from Northern Illinois University in 2008 and has been recognized nationally for her mentoring of undergraduate and graduate physical education students.

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Table of Contents

Part I. Overview of Qualitative Research

Chapter 1. Introducing Qualitative Inquiry
The General Nature of Research
Quantitative and Qualitative Inquiry
Attributes of Qualitative Research
Considerations, Contemplations, and Consternations

Chapter 2. Dissecting the Anatomy of a Qualitative Research Study
Recognizing a Qualitative Research Study
Identifying the Components of a Qualitative Research Study

Part II. Conducting a Qualitative Research Study

Chapter 3. Conceptualizing Your Study
Formulating a Research Plan
Designing an Introduction
Assembling a Literature Review

Chapter 4. Collecting and Analyzing Qualitative Data
An Overview of the Interpretive Process
Participants and Sampling
Qualitative Data Collection
Qualitative Data Analysis

Chapter 5. Ensuring Trustworthiness
The Concept of Trustworthiness
Ensuring Trustworthiness
Additional Considerations About Trustworthiness

Chapter 6. Attending to Ethical Issues
Research Ethics Overview
Regulation of Research
Principles of Research Ethics
Additional Considerations
Institutional Review of Research

Part III. Writing Qualitative Research

Chapter 7. Learning to Put Your Research Plan Together
Components of a Proposal
Oral Presentation for an Academic Proposal

Chapter 8. Writing Your Results and Discussing Your Findings
Components of a Research Report
Presenting Your Results
The Discussion
The Final Review of the Entire Study

Part IV. Continuing Your Qualitative Research Journey

Chapter 9. Understanding Forms of Qualitative Research
Basic Qualitative Research and Beyond
Grounded Theory
Additional Forms of Qualitative Research

Chapter 10. Being a Good Consumer of Qualitative Research
Evaluating Research
Begin With the Fab Five
Dig Into a More In-Depth Evaluation With the Top 10
Conduct a Full Review With the Thought-Provoking 33
Recognizing Specific Forms of Qualitative Research

Chapter 11. Looking Back and Moving Forward
Looking Back
Defending Your Qualitative Research
Combining Methods to Address Research Issues
Using the Practical Toolbox

Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C
Appendix D

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