Using Phenomenology to Examine the Experiences of Family Caregivers of Patients with Advanced Head and Neck Cancer: Reflections of a Novice Researcher

  • Jamie L. Penner University of Manitoba
  • Susan E. McClement University of Manitoba


Faced with a number of research methods, astute researchers carefully choose the method of research most appropriate for their inquiry. Even when there is a goodness of fit between the research design selected to conduct the study and the topic of interest, all designs pose challenges for investigators that need to be considered and addressed. This paper represents the reflections of a novice researcher regarding the issues and decisions made in the course of selecting a phenomenological approach to conduct research examining family caregivers’ experiences caring for tube feeding–dependent patients with advanced head and neck cancer. As such, the article is aimed at sensitizing other novice investigators about things to consider in selecting a phenomenological perspective to answer their own research questions.

Author Biographies

Jamie L. Penner, University of Manitoba
Graduate Student, Master of Nursing Program Faculty of Nursing, University of Manitoba
Susan E. McClement, University of Manitoba
Associate Professor, Faculty of Nursing University of Manitoba Research Associate, Manitoba Palliative Care Research Unit CancerCare Manitoba