The I-C-A-C framework: Uncovering patients' experiences

Chung Yee Zenobia Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The use of metaphors to enhance nursing knowledge and intervention has not been thoroughly addressed in a Chinese context. Use of metaphors helps people transform feelings from the inexpressible to the expressible, to revise their view of their own strengths from unaware to aware, and to expand a one-dimensional view to a multifaceted one. Based on the therapeutic essence of metaphors, this article proposes the I-C-A-C framework on the use of metaphors, with a case example given to illustrate how nurses can help uncover patients' illness experiences. The I-C-A-C framework has four strategies: I - Inviting the patients to create and share their metaphors; C - Creating many meanings for the metaphors; A - Analysing the metaphors; amd C - Connecting the patients' metaphors to their personal context. Limitations and implications of the framework for nursing practice are suggested.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-176
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health Nursing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • I-C-A-C framework
  • Metaphors
  • Nursing practice
  • Patients' experiences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health


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