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Nurse Res. 2010;17(2):16-24.

Bracketing--practical considerations in Husserlian phenomenological research.

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  • 1School of Nursing and Midwifery, Queen's University, Belfast, UK.


Nursing research leans heavily towards naturalism, with phenomenology commonly adopted. The three main schools of phenomenology used are Husserl's descriptive approach, Heidegger's interpretive hermeneutic approach and the Dutch Utrecht School of phenomenology which combines characteristics of both. Husserl's approach--the description of ordinary human experiences as perceived by each individual--involves four main steps: bracketing, intuiting, analysing and describing. Many phenomenological nurse researchers consciously decide to adopt a Heideggerian approach because of the perceived difficulties in achieving bracketing. This paper examines the concept of bracketing (epoché) and outlines some of the practical considerations when attempting to achieve it.

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