[Show abstract][Hide abstract] 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. · 0.61 Impact Factor
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