Evidence and/or Experience-Based Knowledge in Lifestyle Treatment of Patients Diagnosed as Obese?

Published in: Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology
Volume 16, issue 1-2, 2016 , pages: 181–194
DOI: 10.1080/20797222.2016.1240164
Author(s): Karen Synne GrovenPostdoctoral Fellow, Norway, Kristin HeggenKristin Heggen Professor, Department of Health and Society Faculty of Medicine, Norway


Proceeding from a phenomenological perspective, this study investigates how physiotherapists’ experience-based knowledge acquires significance in their encounters with patients diagnosed as obese. Presenting the thematic accounts of three physiotherapists, this paper illuminates how they make use of experiences from both their own life as well as experiences from learning and doing physiotherapy. This multifaceted experience-based knowledge is significant for making individual adjustments in a group-based programme. In line with these findings, the authors question whether the therapeutic method itself can be given such a prime position in defining best evidence in evidence-based practice. In concluding, they call for a re-consideration of the term evidence. More precisely, it is argued that what will be “effective” therapy for a person diagnosed as obese cannot be reduced to external evidence.

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