1st Edition

Hermeneutic Phenomenology in Health and Social Care Research

Edited By Susan Crowther, Gill Thomson Copyright 2022
    250 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    250 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book explores how, why and when hermeneutic phenomenology can be used as a methodology in health and social research.

    Providing actual examples of doing robust hermeneutic phenomenology and a focus on praxis, the book demonstrates how philosophical or theoretical notions can inform, enrich and enhance our research projects. The chapters offer examples of many different research designs and interpretive decisions in order to illustrate the unbounded and creative nature of this type of inquiry, whilst also demonstrating the trustworthiness of the scientific processes adopted. The chapter authors invite the reader on a unique journey that highlights how they made individual and tailored decisions throughout their projects, emphasising the challenges and joys they encountered.

    This book is a valuable resource for all students and academics who wish to explore the meaningfulness of human lived experiences across the multitude of phenomena in health and social care.

    Chapter 1- Introduction: Situating hermeneutic phenomenology as research method in health, social care and education

    Susan Crowther and Gill Thomson

    Chapter 2- Nurturing a spirit of attuning-to

    Liz Smythe and Deb Spence

    Chapter 3- Using poetry to illuminate the lived accounts of Juvenile Dermatomyositis in children and young people

    Polly Livermore

    Chapter 4- Revealing experiences of sexuality and intimacy in life-limiting illness using Heidegger’s phenomenology

    Bridget Taylor

    Chapter 5- ‘Distracted by, and immersed in the talk of others’: Expectations and experiences of childbirth in the framework of the ‘They’

    Lesley Kay

    Chapter 6- Seeking Heidegger in research data: Thinking about connections between philosophy and findings

    Lesley Dibley

    Chapter 7- Embodied hermeneutic phenomenology: Bringing the lived body into health professions education research

    Helen F. Harrison and Elizabeth Anne Kinsella

    Chapter 8- Dwelling in the fourfold: My way of being-in-the-world of Heidegger.

    Margot Solomon

    Chapter 9- Working with phenomenon: Just keep swimming

    Christine Edwards

    Chapter 10- Being an educator as ‘having-been’

    Joshua Spier

    Chapter 11- Straddling paradigms: A hermeneutic phenomenological exploration of the experience of midwives practising homeopathy

    Jean Duckworth

    Chapter 12- Inseeing to the heart of the matter

    Kent Smith

    Chapter 13- Attuning to trustworthiness and final reflections

    Gill Thomson and Susan Crowther


    Susan Crowther is a Professor of midwifery at Auckland University of Technology in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Her research interests are mainly focused on midwifery, maternity and women’s health, although she explores myriad topics with postgraduate students from a variety of disciplines/professions. She has published two books: "Joy at birth" (sole author), "Spirituality and Childbirth" with co-editor Dr. Jenny Hall and another book coming in 2022: "Mindfulness across the childbirth sphere" with co-editor Dr. Lorna Davies. Susan is member of three editorial boards, sits on review panels and enjoys supervising postgraduate degrees.

    Contacts/links: E. [email protected] - Twitter: @SusanCrowtherMW- Blog/webpage: https://drsusancrowther.com/

    Gill Thomson is a Professor in Perinatal Health at the University of Central Lancashire in North-West, U.K.  Gill’s research interests centre around perinatal health and wellbeing and lay/peer support models of care. Gill’s used hermeneutic phenomenology in her Ph.D., she supervises Ph.D. students using this approach, and she co-facilitates the annual hermeneutic phenomenology methodology course with Susan. Gill has authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications and is the lead editor of two Routledge texts (Qualitative research in childbirth and midwifery:  Phenomenological approaches (2011), and Psychosocial resilience and risk in the perinatal period: Implications and guidance for professionals (2017)). Gill is an editorial member of two journals and a steering group member of SCENE (SCENE | SCENE (utu.fi) - an international network dedicated to improving neonatal care.  Contacts/links:  Email - [email protected]; Twitter @gill_thomson; Webpage - Gill Thomson - UCLan.