Opening up dialogues and airways: using vignettes to enrich asthma understandings in sport and exercise

  • Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson, Helen Owton, Lee Crust
  • Qualitative Research in Sport Exercise and Health, February 2016, Taylor & Francis
  • DOI: 10.1080/2159676x.2016.1154097

Understanding people's experience of asthma in sport and exercise

What is it about?

This article explores the lived experience of asthma amongst sport and exercise participants. We draw on an approach that is currently under-utilised in studies of asthma: vignettes. These were used in research with 19 frequent exercisers and sports participants with asthma. We describe and evaluate this particular approach in relation to a phenomenological study of the lived experience of asthma, and consider how employing vignette-based research can encourage people with asthma to reflect critically on their experiences and ways of being-in-the-world. This was found to be a powerful way of challenging taken-for-granted assumptions, and stimulating consideration of behaviour change. The findings we report here cohere around two principal themes: 1) somatic (bodyily) empathy; and 2) the power of sharing stories and opening up dialogues. Understanding the complexity of asthma experiences can, we argue, be of great practical value both to those with asthma and also to healthcare and exercise professionals in tailoring more effective treatments.

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The following have contributed to this page: Professor Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson