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An investigation of how university sports team athletic therapists and physical therapists experience ethical issues
Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy (2015)
  • Isabelle Pearson
  • Catherine Riendeau
  • Marie Eve Lebel-Gabriel
  • Patrick Gauvin
  • Valérie Parent Houle
  • Le Yu Liu
  • Matthew R Hunt, McGill University
Abstract

Study Design Qualitative study using interpretive description methodology. Objectives The purpose of this study was to better understand how ethical issues are experienced by university sports team athletic therapists and physical therapists. Background In clinical practice, sports teams are associated with a range of ethical issues. Issues commonly reported in the literature include confidentiality, return-to-play decisions, conflicts of interest, advertising, doping, and use of local anesthetic. To date, there has been limited examination of how athletic therapists and physical therapists involved with sports teams experience these ethical issues, and limited exploration of how these ethical issues, when encountered, are shaped by therapists' professional roles and responsibilities. Methods Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 11 athletic or physical therapists working with sports teams in 5 Canadian provinces. The data were analyzed inductively, using a recursive approach and constant comparative techniques. Results Four key themes were developed relating to the participants' experiences of ethical issues: establishing and maintaining professional boundaries, striving for respectful and effective collaboration, seeking answers to ethical concerns, and living with the repercussions of challenging decisions. Conclusion While many ethical issues reported by participants resemble those faced by sports medicine physicians, they are experienced in distinctive ways, due to differences in professional roles and identities. Issues concerning professional boundaries were also more prominent for the study participants than the literature has reported them to be for sports medicine physicians. Effective communication and enhanced collaboration appear to be key elements in managing these ethical challenges

Publication Date
2015
Citation Information
Isabelle Pearson, Catherine Riendeau, Marie Eve Lebel-Gabriel, Patrick Gauvin, et al.. "An investigation of how university sports team athletic therapists and physical therapists experience ethical issues" Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy Vol. 45 Iss. 3 (2015)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/matthew_hunt/49/