To clinically and contextually implement the theoretical and factual knowledge of caring that has been developed in the last 30 years is seen as a great challenge in caring science research. Emphasis has been put on problem-solving research methodologies and action research in hopes of narrowing the divide between theory and practice. Thus the goal is now to further action research towards a hermeneutic approach, and to put emphasis on hermeneutic application where theory and practice become one through human dialogue. This article highlights hermeneutic application research as an alternative methodology within participant-oriented research which presents a new opportunity to unite practice and theory. The aim is to contribute to the development of the hermeneutical application research by articulating and by clarifying the application in its epistemological, ontological and ethical context. Emphasis is to clarify the applications central foundations; the creation of a hermeneutic space with an ethical keynote, dialogue and conversation and the objective of achieving understanding that enables appropriation and leads to action. When theoretical understanding turns into action knowledge, knowledge also becomes activity and theory and practice become one. Application thus realizes the basic idea that practice and theory are one, and thus theory can only become evident and implemented in a clinical context through moments when the theory and clinical practice find common understanding and consensus on the knowledge of care and caring.
Keywords: Hermeneutics, application research, participant-oriented research, caring science, Gadamer, Lévinas