Hanneke van der Meide

Email: Hanneke van der Meide
University: Tilburg University

Hanneke van der Meide –PhD student 2010-2014

In May 2012 I visited the school of Health Sciences at the University of Boras and I attended the meeting of EACS in Stockholm. The reason for this visit was that my interest was sparked by several scientific articles written by Swedish authors from a care science perspective. I saw many similarities with the care ethical perspective from which I am conducting my research. Furthermore, I was looking for researchers who were carrying out a phenomenological study on lived experiences in the field of healthcare. My visit turned out to be fruitful and inspiring.

I am working in the research group Ethics of care at Tilburg University in the Netherlands.i We are building a European network of people who are working in the area of ethics of care in order to be visible, accessible and become a mutual source of inspiration. In the ethics of care particular attention is given to specific situations and the very nature of care itself. People, and patients in particular, are seen as precious and vulnerable human beings and it is taken into account that caring relationships always entail dependency and asymmetry. In our group we mainly conduct qualitative empirical research.

My PhD project forms a part of a five year research project on Professional Loving Care in collaboration with the St. Elisabeth Hospital in Tilburg. The goal of this project is to achieve a transition to a hospital that gives professional loving care. The idea of professional loving care is based upon the book Professional Loving Care of Annelies van Heijst.ii Professional loving is care is a practice of care in which competent and compassionate professionals interact with people in their care; to them tuning in with the needs of each individual patient is a leading principle (...) The main purpose of this type of caring is not repair of the patients' body, but the care-receivers' experience of being supported and not left on their own.

My research focuses on the lived experiences of elderly people (80+) in the hospital. I use shadowing as method to gain insight into the experiences of this growing group of patients. Shadowing is an observational method in which the researcher (shadower) observes an individual (shadowee) during a relatively long time. Here, the focus is not solely on verbal expressions of experiences but also on meanings expressed by the body. At the moment I am planning an extended stay at Boras University in the spring of 2013. If you are interested in my project or in the work of our research group or in case you have any other questions please do not hesitate to contact me.