What is the lived experience of distress during magnetic resonance imaging?

Activity: Supervision/Examination/MentoringInternal HDR Supervision


This qualitative study aims to investigate the lived experience of distress of adults who experience distress during a clinical MRI examination. MRI is a powerful diagnostic tool routinely used in healthcare. Distress in MRI is an extensively documented phenomenon for many individuals. Both clasutrophobia’ and ‘anxiety’ are routinely cited contradindications for referring an individual for an MRI. Despite significant improvements in both the MR equipment and environment, and a plethora of medical interventions, ‘anxiety’ remains as an
everyday challenge for many inviduals undergoing MRI. This phenomenon has predominanly been researched from a positivist paradigm and through a medical lens. A holistic and deep understanding of the patient experience and journey is lacking. Hermeneutic phenomenology, although not prescriptive, is
essentially a systematic attempt to uncover and describe the nature of lived experience. The researcher ‘borrows’ other people’s experiences and their reflections in order to arrive at an understanding of deeper meaning and significance of the nature of a specific everyday human experience. It is anticipated that the outcomes of this study will augment the predominantly quantitative body of knowledge to provide greater understanding of individuals’ lived experience and needs during MRI examinations.
Period2019 → …
ExamineeJohnathan Hewis
Examination held at
Degree of RecognitionNational


  • phenomenology
  • higher degree research
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • distress