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appreciative inquiry, method, nursing science, Rogers' science of unitary human beings, unitary inquiry, unitary theory



  1. Cowling, Richard W. III RN, PhD


Unitary appreciative inquiry is described as an orientation, process, and approach for illuminating the wholeness, uniqueness, and essence that are the pattern of human life. It was designed to bring the concepts, assumptions, and perspectives of the science of unitary human beings into reality as a mode of inquiry. Unitary appreciative inquiry provides a way of giving fullest attention to important facets of human life that often are not fully accounted for in current methods that have a heavier emphasis on diagnostic representations. The participatory, synoptic, and transformative qualities of the unitary appreciative process are explicated. The critical dimensions of nursing knowledge development expressed in dialectics of the general and the particular, action and theory, stories and numbers, sense and soul, aesthetics and empirics, and interpretation and emancipation are considered in the context of the unitary appreciative stance. Issues of legitimacy of knowledge and credibility of research are posed and examined in the context of four quality standards that are deemed important to evaluate the worthiness of unitary appreciative inquiry for the advancement of nursing science and practice.