To comprehend the experiences and perceptions of the relatives of the breast cancer patients on the said disease, a phenomenological approach on qualitative research is used. Qualitative research is about providing detailed information of the human behavior, personalities, understandings, and other various information crucial to life. (X) Since the goal of this research is to explore the lived experience of the relatives of the breast cancer patients, qualitative methodology is greatly preferred.
According to May and Pope (2014), qualitative methods has been common in the sections of health service research and health assessment. This type of research method has helped in finding what is important for the patients and for the people surrounding them. By utilizing the many benefits of qualitative methods, the researchers can have a deeper understanding of how these aforementioned people make sense of their world. Furthermore, qualitative research also enables the researchers to reach certain areas that quantitative research cannot reach. (X) While quantitative research answers the questions “how many”, or “how often”, the qualitative research asks “what”, or “why”. It puts emphasis on the meaning, experiences, and views of the participants rather than the statistical and numerical data. (X)
Living with someone who has breast cancer, and seeing them suffer is a phenomenon the relatives of the breast cancer patients (the participants of the study) have to go through each day of their lives. To grasp what their emotions are, the researchers use the phenomenological approach. According to Al-Busaidi (2008), “Phenomenologists are interested in how people put together the phenomena they experience in such a way as to make sense of the world and develop a worldview. They assume commonality in human experience and focus on meaning-making as the essence of human experience.” To put it differently, phenomenological approach focuses on the importance of personal perspective and experience. (X) As a result, this type of approach is powerful in recognizing what others’ has gone through, getting insights of their actions and finding a common theme in the things the participants describe.
The researchers decided to use phenomenological approach because this type of approach is about a definite lived experience rather than just opinions, views and beliefs. (X) It aims to describe than to explain, and as such removes biases and preconceptions. (X)