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The evolving self : finding meaning in near-death experiences using interpretative phenomenological analysis.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>04/2009
<mark>Journal</mark>Mental Health, Religion and Culture
Issue number3
Number of pages17
Pages (from-to)223-239
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Objectives: A variety of anomalous experiences have been reported in the research literature as enhancing, rather than indicating poor mental health. The out-of-body experience (OBE), where the person’s self and body are phenomenologically separate, is a relatively common anomalous experience. The aim of this study was to investigate the experience of an OBE and its resultant after-effects. Design: An idiographic, phenomenological, qualitative approach was adopted. Methods: Three participants took part in recorded face-to-face, semi-structured interviews. Data were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Results: IPA found experients perceived their OBEs as occurring at times of personal significance. They were inextricably linked with participants’ lives beyond their point of occurrence and played an adaptive role in response to difficult life events. The process of integration was helped or hindered by the varying reactions from others to the disclosure of the OBE. Conclusions: The idiographic nature of this study was instrumental in highlighting the subtle personal and social factors that influenced how the OBE was managed and integrated.

Bibliographic note

The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Mental Health, Religion and Culture, 12 (3), 2009, © Informa Plc