The Hermeneutic Circle Helps to Accumulate Knowledge and Understanding: An Empirical Example of Public Health Nurses' Experiences of Supporting Multiple-birth Families
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CitationHeinonen Kristiina. (2017). The Hermeneutic Circle Helps to Accumulate Knowledge and Understanding: An Empirical Example of Public Health Nurses' Experiences of Supporting Multiple-birth Families. Journal of Health Science, (5) , 227-235. 10.17265/2328-7136/2017.05.002.
In phenomenological research, the reduction is a complex reflective attentiveness required for phenomenological understanding. A literature review revealed that little research has been done on health care professionals working with multiple-birth families. Van Manen’s method has been variously used in nursing science. The aim of this article is to describe the hermeneutic circle and the method of reduction, providing an empirical example of the experiences of public health nurses working with multiple-birth families. The data consisted of open interviews (n = 38) with three participant groups—parents of twins, nurses, and family care workers—written output from them and the researcher’s notes. The phenomena of the lifeworld of multiple-birth families as described by nurses can be expressed as: “recognizing the strain”, “targeting special needs”, and “lightening the load of daily life”. Reduction enables in-depth phenomenological hermeneutic research, helping to see the research stages both as parts and as a whole and the hermeneutic circle that accumulates understanding. Social and health care professionals need to listen more to parents’ voices to better understand the needs and situation of multiple-birth families. More education and training is needed to empower parents of twins. This article can stimulate discussion on phenomenology, hermeneutic research and reduction.