Phenomenology: its use in nursing research

Int J Nurs Stud. 1994 Dec;31(6):499-510. doi: 10.1016/0020-7489(94)90060-4.


As nurses begin to recognize the incongruities between their philosophy of nursing and their research methods, growing acceptance of phenomenology as an alternative research method is occurring. This trend is evidenced by the increase in publications of phenomenological research studies in nursing literature. The purpose of this article is to review (a) some philosophical and methodological issues of phenomenology and (b) the use of phenomenology in nursing research. The studies reviewed in this article illustrate the breadth of applicability of this qualitative method for nursing. Phenomenological research has been conducted with persons ranging from adolescents to the oldest old. Diverse clinical specialties of nursing have already proven fertile areas for phenomenological research such as medical-surgical, maternal-child, gerontological, and emergency room nursing.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Nursing Research / methods*
  • Philosophy, Nursing