Phenomenology as a Research Method for Social Work Contexts: Understanding the Lived Experience of Cancer Survival


  • Jan Pascal Senior Lecturer, LaTrobe University, Bendigo Campus, Victoria, Australia


Cancer survival is a profound and complex human life experience. This article provides an overview of phenomenology and demonstrates its applicability for researching cancer survival. An historical account of phenomenology is provided, as well as an overview of key Heideggerian concepts. After setting the theoretical context and rationale for the study, the article then presents the methods and a brief overview of findings from the author’s study of cancer survival. Implications for social work are discussed throughout. It is hoped that this article will encourage social workers to consider phenomenological approaches to research and practice contexts.