The evolving self: finding meaning in near-death experiences using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis

Wilde, D.J. ORCID: 0000-0001-7416-4348 and Murray, C.D., 2009. The evolving self: finding meaning in near-death experiences using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Mental Health, Religion & Culture, 12 (3), pp. 223-239. ISSN 1367-4676

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Near-death experiences (NDEs) have become a topic of increasing interest to medical and psychological researchers over the last 35 years. During the course of this research agenda, several studies have focused on the phenomenology of the experience and its after-effects, mostly from a nomothetic stance. The aim of this study was to investigate the experience of having an NDE and what meaning NDErs attribute to that experience and its resultant after-effects by taking an idiographic, phenomenological approach. Three female participants took part in recorded face-to-face, semi-structured interviews. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) found that to more deeply understand the impact of NDEs it is crucial to consider how the experience fits within the biographical context of an individual’s life. Rather than being an overall influence on personal and spiritual growth, individuals may choose elements of an experience which are most personally meaningful for them and take that into their later lives. Each participant in some way each came to a new understanding in their lives as a result of their NDE. In addition, the process of integration was helped or hindered by physical and psychological factors concomitant at the time of the NDE. Also evident were the challenges the NDE, or elements therein, have on the individual’s sense of self and how they maintain and develop that self in the years succeeding the event.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Mental Health, Religion & Culture
Creators: Wilde, D.J. and Murray, C.D.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Date: 2009
Volume: 12
Number: 3
ISSN: 1367-4676
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 06 Nov 2015 15:41
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2022 15:57

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