Alternative approaches to research in physical therapy

Positivism and phenomenology

K. F. Shepard, Gail Jensen, B. J. Schmoll, L. M. Hack, J. Gwyer, C. Mattingly

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

69 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article presents philosophical approaches to research in physical therapy. A comparison is made to demonstrate how the research purpose, research design, research methods, and research data differ when one approaches research from the philosophical perspective of positivism (predominantly quantitative) as compared with the philosophical perspective of phenomenology (predominantly qualitative). Differences between the two approaches are highlighted by examples from research articles published in Physical Therapy. The authors urge physical therapy researchers to become familiar with the tenets, rigor, and knowledge gained from the use of both approaches in order to increase their options in conducting research relevant to the practice of physical therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-101
Number of pages14
JournalPhysical Therapy
Volume73
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

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Research
Therapeutics
Research Design
Research Personnel

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Health Professions(all)
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

Cite this

Shepard, K. F., Jensen, G., Schmoll, B. J., Hack, L. M., Gwyer, J., & Mattingly, C. (1993). Alternative approaches to research in physical therapy: Positivism and phenomenology. Physical Therapy, 73(2), 88-101.

Alternative approaches to research in physical therapy : Positivism and phenomenology. / Shepard, K. F.; Jensen, Gail; Schmoll, B. J.; Hack, L. M.; Gwyer, J.; Mattingly, C.

In: Physical Therapy, Vol. 73, No. 2, 1993, p. 88-101.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Shepard, KF, Jensen, G, Schmoll, BJ, Hack, LM, Gwyer, J & Mattingly, C 1993, 'Alternative approaches to research in physical therapy: Positivism and phenomenology', Physical Therapy, vol. 73, no. 2, pp. 88-101.
Shepard KF, Jensen G, Schmoll BJ, Hack LM, Gwyer J, Mattingly C. Alternative approaches to research in physical therapy: Positivism and phenomenology. Physical Therapy. 1993;73(2):88-101.
Shepard, K. F. ; Jensen, Gail ; Schmoll, B. J. ; Hack, L. M. ; Gwyer, J. ; Mattingly, C. / Alternative approaches to research in physical therapy : Positivism and phenomenology. In: Physical Therapy. 1993 ; Vol. 73, No. 2. pp. 88-101.
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