Exploring the Development of Trust in the Athlete-Physiotherapist Relationship
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Sport injury is prevalent and may lead to negative psychological consequences for athletes. When athletes become injured they can turn to a physiotherapist to help them rehabilitate. An athlete’s trust in their physiotherapist may have an impact on their mental and physical rehabilitation. This study explores how trust is developed and maintained as well as the subjective outcomes of trust during rehabilitation. The qualitative lens of phenomenology was used to interview eleven athletes about trust in their physiotherapist. These athletes had experienced an injury that resulted in removal from their sport and a rehabilitation process of 5 weeks or more. These interviews were transcribed and coded until saturation in the data was found. Four major themes of Baseline Trust, Trust Development, Trust Maintenance, and Partnership were found. Strengths, limitations/delimitations, and future directions were discussed to contextualize the contributions of this study for sport psychology and trust research.