This thesis is an exploratory study which investigates the phenomena of holistic healing through a phenomenological approach and the potential of this process to reveal the importance of relying on the client as the most important information resource. Using qualitative design, this research chronicles the experiences of people for their impressions regarding their healing experiences and their search for wellness through traditional medical and complementary therapies.
Objective data will be collected to validate the nature of this research through the completion of self-assessment forms, in addition to a subjective inquiry into the energetic process of each client through the art and narratives of this researcher. The discoveries that will be produced during the course of this research is expected to reflect the numerous implications of the holistic healing process. 3. Statement of Purpose and Background Holistic healing is on the edge of mainstream scientific thought.
It is contrary to the accepted view that we will always be able to find a specific cause for any given disease. Holistic healing was described by Pelletier (1997). For him, all states of health were psychosomatic, each person representing a unique interaction of body, mind, and spirit. Illness was a disturbance in the dynamic balance of these relationships. The client and the practitioner shared the responsibility for the healing and both creatively learned about themselves during the healing process.
This study seeks to add valuable information about the growing phenomena of holistic health. It strives to explore the process of holistic healing. In the process of investigating the studies hypotheses, this study hopes to discover novel, unanticipated themes that help further our understanding of holistic healing. In spite of its importance as a central phenomenon in medicine, the word holistic healing is rarely used in nursing or medical literature unless the authors are describing some form of indigenous healing ritual or in the context of purely physiological healing.
A holistic healing perspective would imply that healing is much more than physiological change. In spite of a thorough search of the literature, no studies have been found that relate directly to the focus to this study, the experience of holistic healing. The literature review is not the theoretical foundation on which the study is based, but it is represented in order to illustrate the current state of the relevant literature. The initial review established the appropriateness of this study.
The majority of the review will be accomplished after the data will be analyzed and will be guided by the findings. Literature from both the initial review and the later review will be combined and the connections between the literature and the results of this study will be explored in the later chapters. Topics will also be discussed that might relate to the experience of healing, such as health status, recovery, and survival. In this related literature the independent variables such as social support, optimism, and hardiness are often well defined with reliable and valid measures.
The dependent variables such as “being healthy, having minor health problems, suffering from chronic disease, being disabled, and being dead are treated as equally-spaced points on a continuum” (Hobroyd & Coyne, 1987, p. 364), and are not often well-defined or measured. Other measures sometimes defined as “healthy” are help seeking behaviours and compliance with medical recommendations. This research investigates these questions: 1. What does it mean to be holistically healthy? 2. What is the mechanism of the health creation process? Hence, this study hypothesized that:
1. Personal experiences will be a key contributing factor to participants` developing a holistic healing approach. 2. Participants will report healing experience with holistic health as key to developing their interests. This study assumes that holistic healing have an integrative theory that guides its process. Additionally, it assumes that holistic healing adhere to a theoretical orientation that promotes universal spiritual ideals as opposed to specific religious ones. The researcher believes that human existence is multidimensional.
In addition, this study assumes that illness, whether physical, psychological or spiritual effect our all the levels of existence, body, mind, and spirit. Furthermore, the researcher believes those treatment regimens, regardless of the discipline of origin, increase their efficacy by addressing more of the levels-of-being thorough utilizing a holistic approach. Hence, involving human subjects in this research will be justified. 4. Subjects a. Subject Characteristics In this study a target number of ten participants will be chosen. Their ages range from 28-65.
The participants are expected to come from a variety of occupations. Moreover, these participants are expected to demonstrate unique behaviors prior to surgery that appeared as if they might add important insight to the study. The researcher would like to have equal number of male and female participants (5 males and 5 females) to have an equal perspective from both genders. Further, in phenomenology it is important to choose participants who are able to speak with ease, express their feelings, and describe physical experiences (van Kaam, 1966).
All the participants are expected to be verbal and expressive and should have little trouble discussing their healing experiences. b. Selection Criteria Participants to be chosen are those who: 1. had had recent surgery (first interviews will be conducted one week after hospital discharge); 2. were expected to return to their presurgical level of functioning. To insure that the participants would have a significant enough surgery to focus their attention on healing, they: 1. were in the hospital for at least three days;
2. were not expected to return to presurgical functioning for at least three weeks. Certain situations related to the surgery could have distracted the participants from focusing on healing. It was not assumed that these situations could not be healing experiences, but individuals with the following characteristics were not included: 1. external disfigurement from the surgery, beyond the incision; 2. an illness that was expected to be fatal. c. Special Populations No special group will be used in this study. d.
Recruitment Source There are three surgeons known to the researcher that are the sources and they will be contacted by telephone and then by letter (see Appendix A). Nurses in surgical practice will also be contacted for help. Through the researcher’s own private practice she had many contacts with lawyers, personnel departments and other referring sources. The need for participants was expressed to many of them. Participants referred by professional friends are also good recruitment source. e. Recruitment Method
All the participants will be given the researcher’s telephone number and a brief description of the study (see Appendix B). It will be up to the potential participants whether they would make the first contact. Their participation in the study will not be discussed with referring person. The researcher will assume that access to participants would be much easier this way. The resources who were able to provide participants all knew and trusted the researcher. This knowledge could have made it easier to believe that patients would not be harmed by participation in the study.
More personal contact beyond telephone and written contact may help to build the necessary trust with potential providers of participants who have never met the researcher. f. Informed Consent Process Because of concern for protection of human subjects, potential participants will be the one responsible for contacting the researcher, not visa versa. This may add to the difficulty of finding participants. Perhaps more potential participants could have been contacted sooner to insure a less prolonged interview schedule.
Phenomenological research is a relatively unknown methodology in the medical community and potential providers of participants may have been concerned about the validity of the research. After the potential participants called the researcher, a short interview will be conducted on the telephone to ascertain whether they met the requirements for the study. They will be told what would be expected of them and asked whether they will be willing to participate. Participants will be informed about the nature of the study verbally and through a written consent form (see Appendix C).
The nature of the study will also be discussed over the telephone and at the start of the first interview. Questions about the study will be answered at this time, as well as later. As stated in the consent form interviews will be tape-recorded. The tapes will be transcribed by the typist. Pseudonyms will be substituted whenever the participant’s name is used on the tape. The tapes, transcriptions of the tapes, information sheets, and any other materials written by or about the participants’ actual names will not appear in any written reports, nor will they be used in any other way.
A list of participants wishing information about the results will be kept separate and will be in no way connected with the data. Participants will be assured that they could withdraw from the study at any time, and that this would not affect their treatment in any way. g. Study Location Attempt will be made to interview all participants in their homes as it will be likely the place where they will feel comfortable and will be sufficiently relax to be able to talk about their experiences. The home is a more appropriate setting than the hospital.
Although healing probably will not occur in the hospital, many factors are present which may influence the ability to focus on the process. Pain, recovery from anesthesia, lack of privacy, and immersion in the patient role are notable destructors which are expected to be less pronounces at home. Most of the interviews will be conducted in the home but if the participant will find it more convenient to be interviewed in their office or in other comfortable place (i. e. restaurant) then that will be granted. h. Potential Problems
It is anticipated that some questions may cause emotional trauma, thus the participants’ emotional state will be assessed throughout the interview and time will be allotted to discuss any difficulty they will have. 5. Research Design and Methods a. Research Design A suitable design for exploring holistic healing from the perspective of the person in the mechanism of the health creation process is phenomenology. In phenomenology, the essence of human experience (Solomon, 1980) will be studied. It is based on careful consideration of rich complex data, using logic and insight (Cohen, 2001).
Then careful interpretation will clarify this reality of human experiences. In the process of interpretation, data will not created, but they will be analysed with an attempt to discover their essence. So, in order to address the research questions posed in this study, select individuals will be asked to discuss their experience of holistic healing and the mechanism of their health creation process. Asking people directly seemed an effective way to study meaning, experience, beliefs, expectations, and perceptions of holistic healing.
Benner (2002) pointed out that physiological aspects of healing can be studied readily with traditional quantitative research. Much of the research available on psychological, interpersonal, and personality dimensions of health has also been done using quantitative methods. But there is now a current interest in exploring holistic healing using qualitative means, but no qualitative studies have explored healing. As healing is a lived experience it seems appropriate to use a qualitative method to ask individuals who are in the process of healing to attempt to articulate what they believe is happening.
The following is a list of the steps proposed by Colaizzi (1998) that will be followed in this study: 1. carefully interrogate presuppositions; 2. conduct pilot interviews; 3. integrate personal presuppositions and the thoughts about the pilot data, to generated a series of interview questions; 4. gather the data; 5. read all the transcriptions of the data and acquire a feeling for the whole; 6. underlie significant statements in the data; 7. try to formulate the meaning of the combined significant statements.
Creative insights can be used to go from what the subjects say to what the researcher believes they might have meant; 8. organize formulated meanings from all the interviews into groups of themes. Validate these themes by asking whether there is anything in the original data that is not included in the themes, or whether the themes imply anything not in the original data; 9. write an exhaustive description of the results so far, including any discrepancies or themes that do not fit into a cohesive framework; 10.
reduce the description to the fundamental structure of the phenomenon; 11. validate findings with selected participants. In a phenomenological study, oral interview is indispensable. The purpose of the interview is to elicit information about the participants’ experience in their own words, order of priority, and depth of emphasis. Hence, interviews will usually lasts from 60 to 90 minutes or even longer. Then, it is expected that there will be two interviews (first and a follow-up). The first interview is intended to be conducted approximately one week after hospital discharge.
After the first interview with each participant, the data will be analyzed to discover whether any of this information needed clarification or expansion or whether any of these data pointed to the need for another area of questioning. A list of specific questions will be drawn from each participant to explore during the second interview. The second interview for each participant is planned to occur three weeks after the first interview to allow enough time to pass to have some additional thoughts on healing, yet to be early enough in the process that the participant will still focused on healing.
The second will start with general questions before the more specific questions will be asked. Again, he purpose was to elicit the participants’ experience in the most uncontaminated way possible. The participants’ thoughts about the healing is expected to be stimulated during the first interview so that they will add new ideas to express during the second interviews and it will be validated as the emerging themes and interpretations of the researcher.
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