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Session Graduate SchooL: The opening up of the patient world; benefits of phenomenological research

Special guest: prof. dr. Karin Dahlberg, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Humanisation is a focus in research activities of the University of Humanistic Studies and giving ‘choice and voice’ to patients in their own health care is an important aim from this perspective. However, not all initiatives employed contribute to a deeper understanding of patient perspectives. Reflections on humanisation in healthcare appear to touch on images of patients in use; for instance as consumers (economic emphasis), as citizens (political emphasis) or as vulnerable people.


If you wish to attend, please send an email to Anja Reterink:


10:00 – 12:30 Morning program
Content: In this session we explore to what extent and how phenomenology as a scientific approach can contribute to research that aims to differentiate humanisation and de-humanisation practices in healthcare. We explore among others how phenomenological ontology, and not only epistemology can contribute to health care research. Furthermore weaknesses are discussed that were recognized in the practise of phenomenological research in this area.
• Welcome: prof.dr. Anne Goossensen
• Lecture by prof.dr. Karin Dahlberg
• Reflection by dr. Jenny Slatman
• Broader discussion

12:30 – 13:30 Break for Lunch

13:30 - 14:30 Afternoon session part 1: Phenomenological approach to the wish to die in elderly people
Content: the need for an existential phenomenological approach, with careful attention for the lived experiences of individuals, and their (social and cultural) situatedness.
• Presentation by Els van Wijngaarden
• Feedback Karin Dahlberg and/or Jenny Slatman
• Broader discussion
14:30 – 15:00 Break for tea & coffee

15:00 - 16:00 Afternoon session part 2: Small studies, high expectations
Content: thoughts about the political dimension of phenomenological research.
• Presentation by Hanneke van der Meide
• Feedback Karin Dahlberg and/or Jenny Slatman
• Broader discussion

16:00 – 16.30 Rounding up, future initiatives

Suggested readings:
1. Todres, L., Galvin, K., & Dahlberg, K. (2014). Caring for insiderness: Phenomenologically informed insights that can guide practice:
2. Todres, L., Galvin, K. & Holloway, I. (2009). The Humanisation of Healthcare: A value framework for Qualitative Research. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being. 4(2), 68-77.
3. Todres, L., Galvin, K., & Dahlberg, K. (2007). Lifeworld-led healthcare: Revisiting a humanising philosophy that integrates emerging trends. Medicine, Health care and Philosophy, 10(1), 53-63. doi: 10.1007/s11019-006-9012-8

Further readings:
4. Dahlberg, K., Todres, L. & Galvin, K. 2009. Lifeworld-led healthcare is more than patient-led care: an existential view of well-being. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy, 12(3), 265-271.
5. Dahlberg, K., Gjengedal, E. & Råheim, M. 2010. Editorial. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being 5, 5800 - DOI: 10.3402/qhw.v5i4.5800
6. Dahlberg, K. 2011. Lifeworld Phenomenology for Caring and for Health Care Research. In: G. Thomson, F. Dykes & S. Downe: Qualitative Research in Midwifery and Childbirth: Phenomenological Approaches. London: Routledge.
7. Dahlberg, K. 2012. Patient focus as lifeworld focus – from a Scandinavian caring science perspective. Japanese Journal of Nursing research, 45(05), 439-449.
8. Ranheim, A. & Dahlberg, K. 2012. Expanded Awareness as a Way to Meet the Challenges in Care that is Economically Driven and focused on Illness – a Nordic Perspective. Aporia, 4 (4).
9. Hörberg, U., Sjögren, R. & Dahlberg, K. 2012. To be Strategically Struggling against Resignation: The Lived Experience of Being Cared for in Forensic Psychiatric Care. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 33:743–751.
10. Norlyk, A., Martinsen, B. & Dahlberg , K. 2013. Getting to know patients’ lived space. Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology, 13 (2) October.
11. Dahlberg, K. 2013. My answer to the questions. I: A. Fors, C Ceci & J.S. Drummond: Philosophy of Nursing: 5 Questions. New York and London: Automatic Press/VIP.


Karin Dahlberg has been in the "caring sciences" since 2000, having previously obtained degrees in nursing and education (or pedagogy as it is known in Europe). Karin's doctoral degree was in pedagogy (educational research), and she is currently working in both the educational and caring science fields. Karin's own research is mainly in continental epistemology which provides her and her doctoral students with a suitable methodological approach to support the analysis of the health science field.

Anne Goossensen is professor Care Ethical aspects of informal care at the University of Humanistic Studies. Her research focuses on quality of relationships in (palliative) care and different types of reduction. From care ethical viewpoint she evaluates with mainly qualitative research to what extent vulnerable people feel acknowledged and included.

Hanneke van der Meide has recently completed her PhD thesis entitled ‘Why frailty needs vulnerability. A care ethical study into the lived experiences of older hospital patients.’

Jenny Slatman is associate professor of philosophy in the Department of Health, Ethics and Society, CAPHRI, Maastricht University. She is the author of L’expression au-delà de la representation. Sur L’aisthèsis et l’esthetique chez Merleau-Ponty (Paris, 2003) and Our Strange Body: Philosophical Reflections on Identity and Medical Interventions (2014). Her current research involves philosophical and ethical analyses of bodily identity and integrity in health and medicine.

Els van Wijngaarden is lecturer in Applied Ethics at Windesheim University in Zwolle and PHD student at the University for Humanistic Studies in Utrecht in the department of Care and Well-being. Her PHD-project is on ‘elderly people who consider their lives to be completed’. It involves several phenomenological and ethical reflections on the lived experiences of the elderly people under study.

Contactpersoon Anne Goossensen
Locatie Universiteit voor Humanistiek Zaal 0.38
Datum 19-10-2015
Openingstijden 10 - 16.30 hrs