Experienced-based methods are growing in popularity and are increasingly being utilized in a variety of research programs and investigations. They enable researchers and participants to co-design research strategies and outcomes and subsequently propose solutions to potential problems in the partnership. By applying an experience-based methods lens, we sought to augment traditional qualitative interviewing methodologies by using a novel method we named “one-sentence, one-word” (1S1W). To apply our 1S1W method, we used a phenomenological study that examined the relationship between the risk of falling and the desire of master athletes to engage in competitive sports. Participants reflected and recorded their subjective experiences in the form of one-sentence and one-word responses, at the beginning and end of the interview, respectively. Half of all participants associated the risk of falls with negative words; however, all participants used positive sentences to describe their experience as master athletes. Considering other qualitative findings, this method, while brief and relatively simple, gave a very rich and accurate depiction of participants’ overall experiences (e.g., themes). The 1S1W data collection method complements traditional qualitative approaches and encourages participant reflection; we believe our method has applicability across the research process. In one word, it isolates the ESSENCE.


Phenomenology, Self-Reflection, Reflexivity, Qualitative Research Methods

Author Bio(s)

Shannon L Sibbald is an Assistant Professor in the School of Health Studies at Western University. She holds academic appointments in the Schulich Interfaculty Program in Public Health, and the Department of Family Medicine at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry. Her research interests include interprofessional healthcare teams, health systems research, and implementation science. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: ssibbald@uwo.ca.

Dylan Brennan is a recent MSc graduate. His research interests include ageing and health, gerontology, physical fitness and well-being. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: dbrenna4@uwo.ca.

Aleksandra Zecevic is an Associate Professor in the School of Health Studies at Western University. Her research interests include ageing and health, gerontology, safety culture, and biomechanics. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: azecevi2@uwo.ca.


We would like to thank our research participants.

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