Unitary Appreciative Inquiry

Researchers in the Centre for Qualitative Research are pursuing novel and innovative methodologies that draw upon multiple influences and epistemologies from philosophy, the arts and the humanities.

An example is Unitary Appreciative Inquiry. This methodology has emerged over the past 15 years or so, and is receiving increasing attention in the research community. Based firmly in nursing and health care science, practice and research, Dr. W. Richard Cowling III synthesised insights from Martha Rogers’ Science of Unitary Human Beings and Heron and Reason’s participatory worldview of co-operative inquiry to form UAI. The aim of UAI is, according to Cowling (2005; page 94), to “provide a creative practice process, grounded in human wholeness, being receptive and responsive to the uniqueness of each individual, giving primacy to the voices of those seeking care, and providing a context for human flourishing”. The range of life and health situations that have been addressed using UAI include feelings of despair, alcoholism, spinal cord injury, and the impact of spiritual healing on women who are recovering from chemotherapy for breast cancer (a current Bournemouth University PhD study).

Further Reading

WR Cowling (2004) Pattern, Participation, Praxis and Power in Unitary Appreciative Inquiry. Advances in Nursing Science 27, 3: 202-214.

WR Cowling (2001) Unitary Appreciative Inquiry. Advances in Nursing Science 23: 4, 32-48.

WR Cowling (2000) Healing as Appreciating Wholeness. Advances in Nursing Science 22: 3, 16-32.