In Nursing and the Experience of Illness: Phenomenology in Practice, Madjar and Walton show how phenomenological thinking can benefit nursing. Phenomenology has become one of the most frequently used methods in nursing research as qualitative methods grow in popularity. But it is more than a research method; by describing real nursing encounters in terms which are accessible and realistic, it can help clinical nurses understand their own practice better. In the first two chapters the editors and leading Canadian phenomenologist Max van Manen discuss the relevance of phenomenology for nursing and key aspects of the approach. The remaining chapters are examples of innovative research based on phenomenological approaches, drawing on work from around the world. Collectively the chapters show the intricate connections we experience between mind and body, whatever the illness. They describe how nurses contend with pain and suffering that can threaten to overwhelm both them and those for whom they care, and how precious the moments of genuine mutual understanding can be for clients and nurses.
The case study chapters offer models for undertaking phenomenological research, and presenting it in written form. Contributors discuss their reasons for choosing the method, ethical concerns, practical difficulties and outcomes in a variety of contexts. Jo Ann Walton University of Newcastle, Australia; Irena Madjar University of Newcastle, Australia; Max van Manen University of Alberta, Canada; Marian Bland MidCentral Heal