Medical Problems of Performing ArtistsMedical Problems of Performing Artists

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Qualitative research in performing arts medicine

Ralph A. Manchester
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 26 Number 2: Page 63 (June 2011)

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Abstract: The article by Guptill in this issue of MPPA presents the results of a type of research that has not been published to a great extent in the performing arts healthcare literature to date. Only a few articles that are based on qualitative research have been published in this journal. The vast majority of original research published in this and other music and dance medicine journals (and indeed, most other biomedical journals) starts out with a specific hypothesis and then collects quantifiable data to prove or disprove the hypothesis; we can think of this traditional approach as being quantitative research. However, as one can infer from the famous statement made by Mr. Einstein (who had well-established credentials in the field of quantitative research), sometimes we ought to pay attention to things that can't be quantified. While there is considerable ongoing debate about the role of qualitative research, I will attempt to give a broad overview of how it could be useful as we try to move the field of performing arts medicine forward.

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