An awakening experience: An interpretative phenomenological analysis of the effects of a meaning-centered intervention shared among palliative care nurses

Mélanie Vachon, Lise Fillion, Marie Achille, Stéphane Duval, Doris Y Leung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The purposes of this qualitative study were to (a) explore palliative care nurses' spiritual and existential experience of a meaning-centered intervention (MCI) based on Frankls' approach and to (b) describe the qualitative effects of the MCI from the nurses' point of view. Ten palliative care nurses were interviewed before and after participating in a group intervention. Data were analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis (Smith 2004). Two essential themes emerged from the analysis. First, the MCI expanded nurses' spiritual and existential awareness in four ways: (1) by increasing their awareness of life's finiteness, (2) by opening them up to new meanings and purposes of suffering, (3) by having them become more aware of sources of meaning and purpose in life, and (4) by having them access a state of mindfulness. The second essential theme was the group's containing function for nurses. The group process allowed nurses to (1) develop a shared language to talk about their spiritual and existential experience and to (2) experience validation through sharing their experience with peers. Results are discussed within existential ideas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-80
Number of pages15
JournalQualitative Research in Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Existential approach
  • Group intervention
  • Interpretative phenomenological analysis
  • Meaning
  • Palliative care nursing
  • Spirituality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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