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chronic illness, concept mapping, hope, phenomenology, older adults, theory building



  1. Forbes, Mitzi A. PhD, RN


When current theory about a concept of interest is insufficient, the researcher may desire to build or expand theory. Two research methods for building nursing theory are compared by asking the same question using each method. Phenomenology was used to analyze the interviews of six older adults with chronic illness regarding their experience of hope. Eight theme categories depicted the essential structure. Using concept mapping, eight older adults with chronic illness generated statements about hope. Nine clusters resulted. The methods are compared for procedure and outcome. Although differing with regard to time and participant involvement, the similarity of outcomes suggests that qualitative research is robust.