Alumnus David Whitsitt, PhD ’08 and Three Saybrook Doctoral Students Present at The International Human Science Research Conference in August

Alumnus David Whitsitt, PhD ’08 and Three Saybrook Doctoral Students Erica Shane Hamilton, Miyuki Tomura, and Christine Thomas Present the Symposium
Giving Voice to Experience: Health and Sigma, Student Contributions to Qualitative Research

The International Human Science Research Conference
Seattle University
August 4-8, 2010

Abstract: This symposium will showcase the power of qualitative research to express the human experience of living with illness or stigma, as well as the experience of the treatment process. The symposium includes four students/recent graduates of Saybrook University, and the research ranges in method from phenomenology, to grounded theory, to mixed methods.

The first presentation applies grounded theory and mixed methods to understand the psychosocial and existential stresses in the lives of women with CPP as well as some of their coping mechanisms. The researcher combined qualitative interviews with innovative web-based daily tracking strategies to sample the daily experiences of pain and life stress of the participants.

The second presentation used a phenomenological methodology to explore the lived experiences of three couples, where one of the partners has undergone coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG). The study highlighted the impact of meanings or beliefs, coping styles, and marital quality on the couples’ experiences of bypass surgery.

The third presentation is a descriptive phenomenological study of a prostitute’s lived experience of stigma. The researcher used a semi-structured interview method and Smith and Osborn’s (2003) interpretive phenomenological analysis, to disclose ten central themes in the initial prostitute’s experience. Additional interviews are now in progress with five additional prostitutes to delineate common themes across subjects.

The fourth paper is a mixed method study exploring the experience of living with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and the experience of undergoing an alternative therapy for the disorder. The researcher will use a case study approach integrating qualitative interview data with presentation of psychophysiological changes in treatment.

Each of the presenters will provide a rationale for choosing the specific methodological approach, and will highlight strengths of this qualitative method or mixed methods approach for the problem under investigation.

Moderator: Donald Moss, PhD, Chair, College of Mind-Body Medicine, Saybrook University

Presenter 1: Erica Shane Hamilton, doctoral candidate
Title: Interview Combined with Daily Tracking Questionnaires: Gaining Insight into the Stresses and Coping Efforts of Women with Chronic Pelvic Pain

Presenter 2: David Whitsitt, PhD
Title: Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery: The Experiences of Three Couples

Presenter 3: Miyuki Tomura, doctoral candidate
Title: A Prostitute’s Lived Experience of Stigma

Presenter 4: Christine Thomas, doctoral candidate
Title: Heart Rate Variability Training for Women with Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Case Study Research

Discussant: Steen Halling, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Seattle University

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