Adequately Human: Methods for Health Science

  • Patrick M. WhiteheadEmail author


This chapter describes a methodology for studying healthcare that is adequately human. Building off of the description of health given in Chap.  5, a method is explained that is directed at concrete experience of well-being and deficits to this. Two examples of this are shared: narrative medicine and existential phenomenology. Narrative medicine focuses on the stories that we tell about our lives and our experiences. Illness interferes with how we see our life moving forward and may be understood as a confrontation between expectations and actualities. Rita Charon’s work in this area is presented as an example. Existential phenomenology carefully describes concrete experience as it unfolds in the person’s life. In existential health psychology, an existential phenomenological analysis would examine how an illness is lived and how their body is experienced throughout the course of the illness.


Qualitative research Narrative medicine Phenomenological psychology Hermeneutic phenomenology 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sociology and PsychologyAlbany State UniversityAlbanyUSA

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