Qualitative research in rehabilitation counseling

Cheryl Hanley-Maxwell, Ibrahim Al Hano, Michael Skivington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Qualitative research approaches offer rehabilitation scholars and practitioners avenues into understanding the lives and experiences of people with disabilities and those people and systems with whom they interact. The methods used often parallel those used in counseling and appear to be well matched with the field of rehabilitation counseling. Despite this, qualitative research is still rarely present in Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin (RCB) and other counseling-related journals. Thus, acquainting/reacquainting rehabilitation researchers and practitioners with qualitative research seems appropriate. This article presents an overview of qualitative research, including a discussion of common components and processes and two designs commonly used in RCB-case study and grounded theory. Research previously published in RCB is used to illustrate various aspects of the discussion. The article ends with a discussion of current qualitative research perspectives and how these perspectives challenge rehabilitation scholars to consider new directions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-110
Number of pages12
JournalRehabilitation Counseling Bulletin
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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