Van jonge topsporter naar chronische pijnpatiënt | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 25, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 1385-1535
  • E-ISSN: 1875-7324


From young elite athlete to chronic pain patient. A reflection on working with students as a researcher

A qualitative study on the (psychological) characteristics of young, former elite athletes with chronic, non-specific pain complaints was initiated to answer the following questions: (1) Which factors could play a role in the development of chronic, non-specific pain in young, former elite athletes? And (2) How can we optimize treatment for young, former elite athletes with chronic, non-specific pain? A master student in Mental Health first interviewed six young former elite athletes with non-specific pain complaints who were receiving treatment in the rehabilitation clinic. The student analyzed the data. As data analysis based on six interviews is rather limited and the findings did not lead to unambiguous conclusions, several parts of the interview were re-coded by researcher 1, leading to different conclusions. We then decided to re-code all interviews in a new project by researcher 1, have researcher 2 double code several interviews and recruit at least six more participants to expand the qualitative sample. Reflecting on working with students in our qualitative study, we found another researcher coding the interview data to be important as it minimizes interpretation bias and allows for a check of the thoroughness of the interview content. Secondly, master students writing their thesis have limited time for these projects, which may lead to a small number of participants in the study. This holds especially when recruiting from a patient population, as availability depends on the number of suitable patients during this period of time.


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