From pattern appraisal to unitary appreciative inquiry - a critical reflection on the development of the unitary appreciative inquiry method

This source preferred by Peter Wolfensberger

Authors: Wolfensberger, P.

Publisher: Cardiff University, School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies

Place of Publication: Cardiff University

This essay has been submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the Masters Degree in Nursing Studies - Module: Theoretical Developments in the Science and Art of Nursing.

The purpose of this article is to place Cowling’s unitary appreciative inquiry method in the context of nursing science and the development of unique nursing research methods. Unitary appreciative inquiry is one of a few nursing research and practice methodologies based on Martha Rogers’ theory, the Science of Unitary Human Beings. This article is reflecting the development of the unitary appreciative inquiry method in analyzing articles and literature published by Cowling and other authors that are related to Cowling’s ideas and approaches. A brief overview of the basic concepts, assumptions and principles of Rogers’ theory is given as well as some insights on other major influences on Cowling’s work. The changes that have been made over the past seventeen years from pattern appraisal to pattern appreciation and unitary appreciative inquiry in its current use are mapped and its contribution to current nursing knowledge and practice is critically reviewed. The author of this article strongly beliefs that nursing needs to develop its own research methods based on nursing theories for further development and improvement of nursing science as an independent and accepted discipline in human health care. It is from that perspective that Cowling’s work is reviewed.

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