Table 3

Components of the study reflecting the grounded theory method

Iterative process The study was designed to reflect the current level of understanding of research relating to athlete LBP. The researchers’ clinical experience and gaps in knowledge helped design questions. Data analysis was conducted in tandem with the interview process and concepts were refined throughout the ongoing process.
Theoretical sampling Sampling was guided by issues that arose from the iterative analysis. Data ere analysed as it was collected and was continued in parallel with data collection. Following initial analysis, the interview questions were expanded and modified to explore the concepts of concealment and openness and participants were sought to build emerging theory. This was informed by coding, comparison and memo-writing as interviews were conducted and analysed.
Theoretical sensitivity All researchers had published widely in relevant areas prior to this study and were able to build on this body of prior knowledge to interpret the emerging data to build concepts from the findings of this study.
Codes, memos and concepts The process that was used was that outlined by Charmaz whereby raw data undergoes initial coding followed by focused coding and then theoretical coding. Ideas were generated from early data for initial coding to allow for development of focused coding. Theoretical coding allowed refinement of the final categories of openness and concealment and the relationships between them. Throughout the study, case-based memos and conceptual memos were written. We also drew diagrams to explore relationships between concepts.
Constant comparison As the study developed, comparison between data, codes and concepts was ongoing. Coding and concepts in later iterations were compared with those in earlier iterations to ensure that concepts remained relevant and aligned. This was an ongoing process throughout the study.
Theoretical saturation This was reached when all concepts in the developing theoretical framework were well understood and supported by the analysed data.
Fit, work, relevance and modifiability The concepts of openness and concealment of rowing LBP fit closely with what rowers were reporting to be their experiences within the sport and the theory works as it explains the behaviours of the rowers in the culture they found themselves in. This theory is relevant as it fits with the progression of modern sport to present day where success is valued more than enjoyment in many settings. Rowers who reported a culture of openness also reported more positive experiences, and we have suggested that by fostering this culture, the negative experience can be modified.
Production of a substantive theory We have produced a clear substantive theory that the lived experience of LBP in rowers is influenced by a culture of openness or concealment.
  • LBP, low back pain.