Date of Award

December 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Barbara B. Meyer

Committee Members

Dr. Monna Arvinen-Barrow, Dr. Kathryn Zalewski


Elite Sport, Injury, IPA, Rehabilitation, Sport Psychology, Team Approach


In response to an ever growing understanding of the biopsychosocial nature of health and well-being, multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to rehabilitation have grown in acceptance over the past decade. Studies that have explored the effect of these two approaches have found them to be effective in improving rehabilitation outcomes (McAlister et al., 2001; Tur et al., 2003). Although they have been shown to be objectively effective, the impact that these approaches have on the lived experiences of the team employing them, and the athlete or patient they serve, is not well understood. As such, the purpose of the current study was to investigate the lived experiences of the same members of a performance management team (PMT) through two separate injury Cases. Members of the same Australian Slopestyle Ski PMT (N=5) were asked to participate in the current study. An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) framework was utilized (Smith, Flowers, & Larkin, 2009), and as such, in-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with each member of the team. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using guidelines given by IPA scholars (Smith et al., 2009). Analysis of transcribed interviews revealed three higher-order themes that remained consistent across the two injury Cases (i.e., sociocultural context, team functioning, individual human struggle). Although the themes remained consistent, the essence of those themes changed considerably across the two Cases, highlighting the varied lived experiences for all members of the PMT. Analysis of the two Cases revealed that the lived experiences of the participants changed as a result of participants’ appraisal of the sociocultural context around them, and the consequential focus on either their own individual struggles (i.e., Case #1), or the team’s functioning (i.e., Case #2). The approach to injury rehabilitation in Case #1 resembled previous definitions of a multidisciplinary team (Melvin, 1980), while the approach in Case #2 resembled an interdisciplinary team approach (Körner, 2010). Results suggest that an interdisciplinary approach should be used when possible, as it facilitates improved team functioning and more positive lived experiences for all team members. Findings will be discussed in light of relevant literature, and implications for research and professional practice are discussed.