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life patterning, methodology, nursing science, nursing theory, science of unitary human beings, unitary appreciative inquiry, unitary science, wholeness



  1. Cowling, W. Richard III PhD, RN, APRN-BC, AHN-BC
  2. Repede, Elizabeth PhD, RN, FNP-BC


Unitary appreciative inquiry (UAI), developed over the past 20 years, provides an orientation and process for uncovering human wholeness and discovering life patterning in individuals and groups. Refinements and a description of studies using UAI are presented. Assumptions and conceptual underpinnings of the method distinguishing its contributions from other methods are reported. Data generation strategies that capture human wholeness and elucidate life patterning are proposed. Data synopsis as an alternative to analysis is clarified and explicated. Standards that suggest enhancing the legitimacy of knowledge and credibility of research are specified. Potential expansions of UAI offer possibilities for extending epistemologies, aesthetic integration, and theory development.