Using Hermeneutics as a Qualitative Research Approach in Professional Practice

By Paterson, Margo; Higgs, Joy | The Qualitative Report, June 2005 | Go to article overview

Using Hermeneutics as a Qualitative Research Approach in Professional Practice


Paterson, Margo, Higgs, Joy, The Qualitative Report


This paper is targeted primarily at doctoral students and others considering hermeneutics as a research strategy. Research using hermeneutics was carried out with occupational therapy educators and clinicians in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the UK. A total of 53 participants engaged in focus groups and individual interviews over a one-year. The paper explores hermeneutics as a credible, rigorous and creative strategy to address aspects of professional practice that similarly need to be flexible, adaptable to particular needs, and justifiable in the contexts of evidence-based as well as client-centred practice. The hermeneutic study produced A Model of Professional Practice Judgment Artistry (Paterson, 2003) which is briefly described and the connections. Key Words: Hermeneutic Approach, Health Sciences, Occupational Therapy Research, Judgment, and Artistry in Professional Practice

Introduction

This paper explores the value of hermeneutics as a credible, rigorous, and creative strategy to address aspects of professional practice that similarly need to be flexible, adaptable to particular needs, and justifiable in the contexts of evidence-based as well as client-centred practice. Often in research reports the findings and product of the research take centre stage. Here we focus on the methodology and briefly present the product of a hermeneutic study that produced a Model of Professional Practice Judgment Artistry (PPJA) (Paterson, 2003) to enable readers to understand the connection between product and process of the research and to view the credibility of the hermeneutic approach in the context of the research findings. In this way, the research process and product serve as the context for the exploration of the research approach, hermeneutics in action. The paper is targeted primarily at doctoral students and others considering hermeneutics as a research strategy. To meet this goal we have addressed aspects of using hermeneutics as a research strategy at various levels: the paradigmatic framework, the nature of hermeneutics and its rationale, the way this research project has fashioned and implemented a particular hermeneutic approach, and the harmonic relationship between the research topic and approach.

The three-part model arising from the research is presented in detail elsewhere (Paterson, 2003) and is the subject of other current writing. To explore the hermeneutic approach we adopted, we will firstly set the scene for the research, and then introduce the hermeneutic strategy and metaphors we utilized, employing them as the vehicles for writing the paper.

Setting the Scene

To set the scene or context for the exploration of the hermeneutic strategy this section introduces the research players, the key question, and the phenomenon investigated as well as briefly presenting the major research product of the PPJA model.

Introducing the players

In this research journey of exploration of judgment artistry, Margo, a doctoral candidate and occupational therapist, set out with a passion for understanding deep relationships between the practice of occupational therapy and its reasoning strategies. Joy, her principal supervisor, acted as a research collaborator in relation to making key research content and method decisions especially the hermeneutical approach. Joy was a mentor by providing support, critical appraisal and feedback, and a facilitator by broadening the context of the study to consider the relationship between reasoning and professional artistry, as well as focusing the research topic on judgment as a vital and often overlooked aspect of professional reasoning and decision making. Another key player was Susan Wilcox who was the Canadian associate supervisor, since Margo was living in Canada and studying as a distance student in Australia. Susan played the role of "critical companion" (assisting in debriefing and review of thesis writing) and has served as a co-author on other publications arising from this thesis.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Using Hermeneutics as a Qualitative Research Approach in Professional Practice
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.