Description vs. interpretation--a new understanding of an old dilemma in human science research.
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ABSTRACT: To reformulate and adjust to their life-situation, women living with heart failure (HF) need help and support. However, the actual meaning of the phenomenon of support is not yet well described. The aim of the study was to uncover the meaning of the phenomenon of support as experienced by women living with HF in middle age. A reflective lifeworld approach within the perspective of caring science was used. Six women (aged 33Á61 years) were interviewed. The findings show that the essence of support can be understood as safety, depicted by understanding. However, there is tension between what is supportive and what is not, meaning that even though intentions are good, intended support may involve limitations, uncertainties or insecurity. The meaning of support is further illuminated in the following constituents: ''knowledge and understanding'', ''finding balance'', ''ambiguity of relationships'' and ''support and formal care*a matter of trust and mistrust''. Findings demonstrate the need for carers to find an approach that ensures both good quality medical care and, at the same time, acknowledges the uniqueness of each individual.International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-Being 07/2009; 3(1). DOI:10.1080/17482620701714780 · 0.93 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Phenomenography is a research approach developed from an educational framework. However, practised in other areas this research approach can be misunderstood as seems to be the case in some reports on allegedly phenomenographic studies. In this article, the authors show how the phenomenographic approach differs from a phenomenological one, using as an example an interview study on anaesthesiologists’ understanding of work. Having performed both a phenomenographic and a phenomenological analysis of the same transcripts, the researchers compared the results from the two approaches. The result of the phenomenographic study was four ways of understanding work: (a) monitoring and controlling the patient's vital functions; (b) guiding the patient safely through the operation; (c) serving patients, other doctors and nurses; (d) leading the operating theatre and team. The phenomenological analysis showed the essence of being an anaesthesiologist: Carrying the responsibility for the patient's vital functions; always being alert, watching carefully over the patient's body, ready to act whenever the patient's life is in danger, however difficult the circumstances. The authors discuss the differences between the two research approaches, stressing the value of phenomenographic studies in educational settings as well as its limited value in research on patients’ experiences of illness.International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-Being 07/2009; 2(1):55-64. DOI:10.1080/17482620601068105 · 0.93 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The primary responsibility of prehospital emergency personnel at out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA) is to provide lifesaving care. Ethical considerations, decisions, and actions should be based in the patient's beliefs about health and well-being. In this article, we describe patients' experiences of surviving OHCA. By using a phenomenological approach, we focus on how OHCA influences patients' well-being over time. Nine survivors were interviewed. Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is described as a sudden and elusive threat, an awakening in perplexity, and the memory gap as a loss of coherence. Survival means a search for coherence with distressing and joyful understanding, as well as existential insecurity exposed by feelings of vulnerability. Well-being is found through a sense of coherence and meaning in life. The study findings show survivors' emotional needs and a potential for prehospital emergency personnel to support them as they try to make sense of what has happened to them.Qualitative Health Research 04/2009; 19(3):323-38. DOI:10.1177/1049732309331866 · 2.19 Impact Factor