Relational Complexity in Pediatric Oncology Nursing: A Hermeneutic Inquiry

  • Katie Webber University of Calgary Faculty of Nursing


In this paper, I explore the fit of philosophical hermeneutics with understanding relational complexity in pediatric oncology nursing. I begin by introducing the applicability of philosophical hermeneutics to the practice of nursing and nursing research. I then contextualize pediatric oncology and offer my address of the topic of relational complexity in nurse-parent relationships within pediatric oncology contexts. In the second part of the paper, I draw connections between Gadamer’s philosophical hermeneutics and relational complexity by considering the significance of one’s relation to the other, conversation and self-disclosure, and the interpretation of friendship in nurse-parent relationships. I conclude the paper by briefly returning to how my research, guided by philosophical hermeneutics, might contribute to nursing practice.