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concept development, depression, despair, mental health, nursing theory, qualitative research, unitary appreciative inquiry, unitary science, women



  1. Cowling, W. Richard III PhD, CS, RN


A unitary appreciative case study method was used to explicate unitary understandings of despair embedded in the unique personal life contexts of the participants. Fourteen women engaged in dialogical, appreciative interviews that led to the creation of profiles of the life pattern or course associated with despair for each woman. Three exemplar cases are detailed including the profiles that incorporate story, metaphor, music, and imagery. The voices of the women provide morphogenic knowledge of the contexts, nature, consequences, and contributions of despair as well as practical guidance for healthcare providers.