While the richness of Heideggerian philosophy is attractive as a healthcare research framework, its density means authors rarely utilise its fullest possibilities as an hermeneutic analytic structure. This article aims to clarify Heideggerian hermeneutic analysis by taking one discrete element of Heideggerian philosophy, and using it’s clearly defined structure to conduct a meta-synthesis of Heideggerian phenomenological studies on the experience of living with a potentially life-limiting illness. The findings richly illustrate Heidegger’s philosophy that there is either an inauthentic positioning towards death, or an authentic positioning towards death with a proposition that death is certain; death is indefinite; death is non-relational; and death is not-to-be-outstripped. None of the 29 included studies on the experience of a confrontation with death fully utilised this framework, despite claiming a grounding in Heideggerian thought. This demonstrates the value in modelling how Heideggerian existential structures can be used proactively as analytical ‘hooks’ for data in research claiming a basis in this philosophy and/or method. By modelling the potential application of an important Heideggerian philosophical construct to published qualitative data, this meta-synthesis has revealed new domains and more nuanced understandings of the temporal structure of Being-towards-death. Such an approach helps to more fully unveil the existential concerns of people at the core of interpretative phenomenological enquiry and may provide a blueprint to map either primary or synthesised data to other key ontological existentials.
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DOI 10.1007/s11019-019-09911-9
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Phenomenology of Illness.Havi Carel - 2016 - Oxford University Press.

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