Applying phenomenography in nursing research

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AimsThis paper examines phenomenography, a research approach designed to answer certain questions about how people make sense of their experience. The research approach, developed within educational research, is a content-related approach investigating the different qualitative ways in which people make sense of the world around them. The outcomes of phenomenographic research are different content-related categories describing the differences in other people's ways of experiencing and conceiving their world.MethodsThe research approach is presented by describing the underlying ontological and epistemological assumptions, describing the research method in detail and providing some examples of phenomengraphic studies in health care and nursing research. The possibilities for applying the methodology to nursing research are discussed, illustrated by research examples. Finally, the future role of the approach within nursing research is discussed.ConclusionThe emphasis on differences in the phenomenographical research approach makes it distinct from other research approaches, and accordingly, it seems to be reasonable to incorporate knowledge of this kind in the professional education of health care personnel.

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