Searching for reintegration: life experiences of people with schizophrenia


  • Chen-Ju Ko RN,

    Lecturer, PhD Candidate
    1. Department of Nursing, Tzu-Chi College of Technology, Hualien, Taiwan
    2. School of Nursing, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan
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  • Pam Smith PhD, BNurs, RGN, PGCE,

    Professor, Nursing Studies
    1. School of Health in Social Science, Edinburgh University, Edinburgh, UK
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  • Hui-Yen Liao RN, MSN,

    Vice Director
    1. Department of Nursing, Tzu Chi Hospital, Dalin Branch, Chiayi, Taiwan
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  • Hsien-Hsien Chiang RN, MSN

    Professor, Corresponding author
    1. School of Nursing, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan
    • Correspondence: Hsien-Hsien Chiang, Professor, National Yang-Ming University, School of Nursing, #155, Sec. 2., Li-Nong Street, Taipei, Taiwan. Telephone: +886 2 28267284.


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Aims and objectives

This study aimed to understand how people with chronic schizophrenia live with their illness experiences.


Schizophrenic clients in Taiwan have reported ineffective community care. As a long-term deteriorating disorder, schizophrenia represents an important issue for healthcare providers.


The research was conducted using an interpretative phenomenological approach, which stresses meaning and people's relationships with their surrounding world.


Purposeful homogeneous sampling was used to recruit 15 participants who were interviewed individually. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was applied to the data.


The superordinate theme that emerged from this study was ‘searching for reintegration’. Reflecting on, living with and learning from illness experiences represented a dynamic process for participants to reintegrate their lives. By reflecting on the suffering associated with their psychological experiences, participants were able to engage in developing different strategies to cope with schizophrenia. This learning process enabled them to believe in, and value, their lives.


Psychological experiences can break down people's inner worlds, but also open up possibilities for self-renewal. The cultural context exerts a powerful influence on the psychological comfort of people with schizophrenia and is therefore an area of possible concern.

Relevance to clinical practice

This research focused on reintegrating process of people with schizophrenia and developing culturally sensitive nursing care.