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In the Queue for Bariatric Surgery: A Phenomenology of Waiting Open Access


Other title
Bariatric surgery
Clinical practice
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Glenn, Nicole Marie
Supervisor and department
Raine, Kim (Co-Supervisor; Public Health)
Cameron, Brenda (Supervisory Committee Member; Nursing)
Spence, John C. (Supervisor; Physical Education and Recreation)
Examining committee member and department
McDermott, Lisa (Physical Education and Recreation)
Cathy, Adams (Secondary Education)
Smith, Stephen (External Examiner; Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University)
Physical Education and Recreation

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Purpose: To explore the lived-experiences of waiting to have bariatric surgery. Research Question: What is it to wait for bariatric surgery? Methods & Participants: I responded to this question using a human science approach to phenomenology of practice. I conducted multiple, in-depth, phenomenological interviews with seven participants recruited from a publically funded bariatric clinic in Western Canada. Experiential sources (i.e., interview transcriptions, written experiential descriptions) were analyzed guided by the phenomenological reflection, reduction and writing practices. Texts (‘Findings’): This inquiry resulted in three manuscripts through which I explored different meaning-aspects of the phenomenon of waiting to have weight loss surgery. The first text, Making Contact: Experiences From the Weight Loss Surgery Clinic, focused on experiences of contact within the pre-bariatric surgical period. I questioned the ethical significance of relational encounters that occurred within the wait drawing on the writings of philosophers Alphonso Lingis and Emmanuel Levinas. The second text, Phenomenological Insights on Mandatory Weight Loss and the Wait to Have Bariatric Surgery, explored experiences of a pre-surgical requirement that weight loss be achieved prior to surgical approval. I questioned the ethical and practical significance of the practice. In the final text, Phenomenological Insights and Metaphor: Building a House As the Wait to Have Bariatric Surgery, I considered the experience of waiting to have bariatric surgery through the metaphor of house building drawing on insights cultivated through philosophical writings on house, home and building to understand the possible meaning of the experience. Concluding Comments & Significance: The findings from these three studies share a common thread of considering the experience of waiting within the context of weight loss surgery. Through these texts I explored possible experiential realities from an ethical perspective often pushing the reader to question – what is good versus what is right (for the individual receiving care)? As such, the texts are of particular relevance to clinicians working in bariatric medicine. The studies also address a significant gap in the bariatric surgical literature, as there is little qualitative research in the field and particularly with regards to patient experiences of the pre-surgical period.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication
Glenn, N. M. (2013). Making contact: Experiences from the weight loss surgery clinic. Phenomenology & Practice, 7(1), 36-52

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