In this issue: Announcing AHNA Journal Club, Call for Abstracts for Nursing Education Research Conference 2014, Triangulation, 2014 AHNA Conference Call for Proposals, Research on Yoga and more...
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Connections in Holistic Nursing Research

August 2013                                                                                    Volume 5 Issue 3

In This Issue
Promoting Research in Holistic Nursing
AHNA Journal Club
Welcome Sue Roe DPA, MS, BSN, RN
A Note from the 2013 HNY
Research at AHNA Conference
Research at AHNA Conference
Research in the News
AHNA Researchers in Action
Quick Links

Promoting Research in Holistic Nursing through Consultation

Any nursing student who has taken a research class can tell you the importance of research. It is to add to the body of knowledge of nursing. In our case we need to conduct research to add to the body of knowledge of our nursing specialty-holistic nursing. Let's look at some ways that we can promote research in holistic nursing.


The research committee has developed one way to promote research, which is the Consultation Program. This program is for those nurses who want to conduct research, but need some guidance. We are all encouraged to continue our program of research when we earn our PhDs, but for some nurses, the opportunity to continue their research is hampered in one or more ways. Every new researcher needs some assistance from a "seasoned" researcher and that is why the Consultation Program is so important. If you are a new researcher who would like some assistance, the Consultation Program is available for you. This program is managed by Cindy Barrere, who can be contacted at    


A yet untapped group of researchers are PhD students. Students in PhD programs, who want to study holistic nursing, may be hampered by a lack of a "content expert". The content expert is an external member on their committee and guides them in their area of study. We need to make contact with schools of nursing that have PhD programs and offer our services as "content experts". At the present time at Duquesne University there is a doctoral student whose focus is "mindful meditation". She is looking for a content expert in that area. I am asking my colleagues in the AHNA to contact me ( if they are interested in working with this student or if they know of a researcher who would like to work with this student. As we begin to develop these relationships, we will have more nurse researchers to add to our body of knowledge.


The Research Committee at AHNA has come a long way in the last several years to promote research in the area of holistic nursing. Let's continue to work together to promote future researchers in our nursing specialty.


Michalene A. King, PhD, RN, CNE


AHNA Journal Club

SAVE THE DATE! Friday, August 30, at 10am-11am Pacific (11am-noon Mountain, noon-1pm Central, and 1pm-2pm Eastern)


JHN CoverA recent survey of AHNA members requested presentations that connect research to practice. To meet this need, the Research Committee (RC) will begin a quarterly Journal Club on August 30, 2013. The purpose of a journal club is to read, evaluate, and discuss research related to holistic practice. We will discuss research articles from the Journal of Holistic Nursing, so all members will have online access to the articles. Although there will be a presentation, the richness of a Journal Club comes from participants sharing experiences and strategies for providing holistic care.


The first Journal Club will discuss nursing assessment of patient's spiritual needs. Further information about the article and how to sign up for the Journal Club will be sent to members in the next two weeks.

Meet New Connections Co-Editor:  Sue Roe DPA, MS, BSN, RN

Pamela Crary PhD, RN and Sue Roe DPA, MS, BSN, RN are our two incoming Research E-News Co-Editors. We are very excited and know they will be able to carry forward this newsletter and bring new innovations as well. 


Sue Roe DPA, MS, BSN, RN
Sue Roe DPA, MS, BSN, RN

Following is a brief Cameo with Sue Roe talking about her current area of research. Dr. Crary was featured in the Spring Issue of Connections in Holistic Nursing Research


What is your current area of research?

My experience and expertise in research is in program evaluation, assessment, and policy analysis.  Research has ranged from evaluation consultation for privately funded and federal grants; to studies and focus groups to determine program feasibility; to assessment strategies/approaches to determine/guide organizational/performance outcomes and impact; and to major workforce demand studies. 


Could you tell us how you got started in research and how it evolved over the years?

My journey into formal research began many years ago with my first experience designing and conducting an evaluation strategy and instruments to measure the impact of an educational program conducted in rural emergency rooms under the auspices of a grant. How exciting to have just arrived from the "big city" to spend a summer traveling in a van collecting data in small communities and reservations.  Since that time I have been fortunate to have had a myriad of opportunities with the majority of my pursuits in applied and action research.   


What were some of your biggest challenges, surprises and joys in doing holistic nursing research?

The research I design and conduct is "holistic" but not necessarily in holistic nursing. Rather, I am involved in studies that provide insights into present issues or future implications. Examples include workforce demand analyses, or how well a particular program has impacted nursing and other healthcare personnel. Challenges always seem to be ensuring sufficient and valid/reliable data to make real life decisions that will affect many in positive ways.  Surprises are expected.  Joys are best remembered. These are the generous people I have and will work with whose passions align with mine and whose collaborations on projects and initiatives improve and enhance the delivery of care. 


What are you excited about in working with the Research E-News?

As an educator for more years than I can believe, the most exciting part about working with Research E-News is the ability to make available to others information and strategies to strengthen current research endeavors. Even more moving is the thought that our efforts will result in helping make research a possibility for those who have been thinking about becoming involved. That is, sharing resources that expands knowledge and comfort and providing support to help them confidently take that leap into research.

A Note from the 2013 Holistic Nurse of the Year: Rorry Zahourek

HNY Rorry Zahourek

I believe my research interests began when I was in my master's program at the University Of Colorado. We had to plan a research project. Three classmates and I developed a study to teach the concepts of love to nurses. While it was never implemented we loved our project and felt it enlarged our own thinking and approaches in our practices.


I really didn't have the intention to go into research when I graduated as a clinical nurse specialist in psychiatric mental health nursing. I saw myself as primarily a clinician. However, the only job left in the city of Denver for a CNS was as a research nurse in the Denver General's Comprehensive Community Mental Health Center. In that position, I collaborated with a psychiatrist on a study on the incidence of depression in women who suffered still born loss. I did the interviews immediately after delivery, at 3 months and then at a year. These were particularly enlightening and led us to develop different guidelines for the care of such women that remain in place today. I see both those research examples as holistic in their process and results.


When I went for my doctorate at NYU I wanted to study something that related to my psychotherapy practice, to healing and to holistic nursing. I was curious about what created and enabled healing. I knew it was intangible and probably difficult to describe but I wanted to try and settled on the concept of intentionality in healing. I did a grounded theory study and developed a theory called "Intentionality: The Matrix of Healing". Since then I have been devoted to exploring that concept and have expanded my original research subject pool to include caregivers from other disciplines (men and women), 'natural healers' and men in nursing. Currently I am focusing on men in nursing. Since my original study included only white women I am also including participants from various cultural and racial groups.


When I became the co-chair for research in AHNA and later the Research Coordinator on the Leadership Council I wanted to expand research in AHNA. The committee was also interested in developing broad multi-site studies. As a committee we developed and have now completed: Holistic Nurses Stories of Healing, A mentor Project study and building a legacy model for AHNA. Currently I am working with the new Research Coordinator (Colleen Delaney) and others on developing a Self-Care study with student nurses.


I feel the honor of Holistic Nurse of the Year belongs at least in part to the members of the research committee who over the years have contributed time and energy to developing research in AHNA as well as our specific studies.



Research Activities at AHNA Conference 2013 Oceans of Possibilities

2013 Research Panel Presenters
2013 AHNA Conference Research Panel Presenters

There were waves of research possibilities for participants to choose from at this year's conference in Norfolk. The research committee placed an emphasis on research on self-care in the call for abstracts and there were several offerings as a result. Cindy Barrere and Rorry Zahourek conducted a pre-conference Holistic Health Interventions for Body, Mind and Spirit: What is the Evidence? in which participants used a simple questionnaire to evaluate selected quantitative and qualitative self-care research studies. At the end participants built their own self care plan based on what they had learned from the evidence in the workshop. The research committee requested panel or symposium abstract submissions. This was the first time since 2005 that a panel-symposium format was used at conference which enabled participants to have more time to discuss specific issues. Self-Care Research: Challenges, Opportunities and Outcomes was selected. Four research projects were presented in which a specific aspect was presented. Colleen Delaney, Cindy Barrere, Mary Ann Abendroth, Pamela Crary, Jen Reich presented quantitative, qualitative and mixed method studies; Rorry Zahourek moderated.


AHNA's 33rd Annual Conference

In addition 6 research papers were presented, 7 research posters, and 9 one on one consultations were offered. Anita Catlin, Marilee Ford and Donna Lamke presented 4 studies in a workshop format, Conducting Research on Holistic Nursing Endeavors in a Community Hospital. The six research papers included:  2 papers by Dr. Jill Boremann on Mantram Repetition Research with Veterans Suffering PTSD and with Health Care Workers, Meditation with COPD by Roxanne Chan, Healing Touch with Older Women by Kristin Wicking from Australia, Provider and Patient Perceptions of Spirituality in Oncology by Ruth Frankenfield and Kathrynn Thompson, and Personal Healing Experiences of Holistic Nurses presented by Mary Hines. The last study listed is a study partially sponsored by and developed by several members of the research committee of AHNA.


Many who were not researchers or felt knowledgeable about research expressed how the presentations were 'user friendly' and valuable in demystifying research as well as offering them with useful information for their practices.  Experienced researchers had a chance to network with other researchers and to hear about new work. With the new format of adding a symposium, more time was allowed for spirited discussion of all aspects of holistic nursing research including planning and interpreting findings. 


The research committee meeting was packed and attendees were able to share their research interests and experiences. Plans for the future were discussed and calls to attendees for contributions to the development of research in AHNA.


Submitted by Rorry Zahourek PhD, PMHCNS-BC, AHN-BC

Committee 2013 planner for research

Opportunities for Researchers
Call for Abstracts for Nursing Education Research Conference 2014
Submit your research or evidence-based abstract for the Nursing Education Research Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, sponsored by the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International and the National League for Nursing. The abstracts submission deadline is Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at 12:00 pm ET. Click here for the abstract submission forms. 

Suggested topics for submission include:
  • Creating effective education-practice linkages
  • Designing robust nursing education research 
  • Developing nursing education workforce diversity 
  • Innovating with nursing domain-specific teaching practices 

Nursing Education Research Conference 2014 themed Bridging the Gap Between Education and Practice will take place April 3-5, 2014 in Indianapolis, IN. 


2014 AHNA Conference

2014 AHNA Conference Call for Proposals Open

Proposals are being accepted for pre-conference workshops, general workshops, focused dialogues, research papers, research posters and non-research posters. Eligible proposals must reflect the theme, purpose, and objectives of the conference and topics may apply to practice, education, research, aesthetics and personal & professional development.

  • Pre-Conference & Workshop proposals will be accepted until Tuesday, October 15, 2013.
  • Research Papers, Non-Research and Research Posters abstracts will be accepted until Sunday, December 1, 2013.

Note: Proposal Space ( is the vendor AHNA uses for submission of Conference Proposals in all categories.  You must register for a LOG IN on the Proposal Space site in order to submit a proposal (your individual AHNA website log in will not work on this site).  This allows you to register your demographic information, establish a password so that as you are submitting proposals (up to 3) you can save them and go back and edit them before the final submission deadline.  Again, you must specifically register at their site separately unless you have registered there to submit a proposal in 2012 or 2013.

The AHNA is offering a competitive research grant for $500 to $1,500. Completed research proposals are due no later than Friday, February 1, 2014. Please refer to the AHNA website at for the following information: the grant application form, guidelines about the application process, and information describing how to write a research proposal. For more information, please contact Jeanette Plodek,, or Cindy Barrere,
Research in the News
Healthy People 2020

Theme: Holistic nursing interventions DO align with priorities of Healthy People 2020 and address health priorities of improving health outcomes!  

Subject: Support for Yoga 



Rioux JG., Ritenbaugh C. (2013). Narrative review of yoga intervention clinical trials including weight-related outcomes.  Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine.  May-Jun; 19(3):32-46.

Evidence has identified obesity as a causal factor in the development of diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. Research on the effectiveness of yoga as a treatment for obesity is limited, and studies vary in overall quality and methodological rigor.


This review assessed the quantity and quality of clinical trials of yoga as an intervention for weight loss or as a means of risk reduction or treatment for obesity and diseases in which obesity is a causal factor. This review summarized the studies' research designs and evaluated the efficacy of yoga for weight loss using the current evidence base.


Overall, therapeutic yoga programs are frequently effective in promoting weight loss and/or improvements in body composition. Yoga appears to be an appropriate and potentially successful intervention for weight maintenance, prevention of obesity, and risk reduction for diseases in which obesity plays a significant causal role. 


Wang MY, Yu SS, Hashish R, Samarawickrame SD, Kazadi L, Greendale GA, Salem G. (2013). The biomechanical demands of standing yoga poses in seniors: The Yoga empowers seniors study (YESS) BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Jan 9; 13:8.


The number of older adults participating in yoga has increased dramatically in recent years; yet, the physical demands associated with yoga performance have not been reported. The primary aim of the Yoga Empowers Seniors Study (YESS) was to use biomechanical methods to quantify the physical demands associated with the performance of 7 commonly-practiced standing yoga poses in older adults.


20 ambulatory older adults attended 2 weekly 60-minute Hatha yoga classes for 32weeks. The lower-extremity net joint measurements were obtained during the performance of the following poses: Chair, Wall Plank, Tree, Warrior II, Side Stretch, Crescent, and One-Legged Balance.   The Crescent, Chair, Warrior II, and One-legged Balance poses generated the greatest average support measurements. Musculoskeletal demand varied significantly across the different poses. These findings may be used to guide the design of evidence-based yoga interventions that address individual-specific training and rehabilitation goals in seniors.

AHNA Researchers in Action

Barry S. Gallison, Yan Xu, Corrine Y. Jurgens & Suzanne M. Boyle. (May/June 2013). Acute care nurses' spiritual care practices. Journal of Holistic Nursing, 31(2), 95-103.

Note: Full text available to AHNA members. Learn how.


Cherie Simpson & Patricia Carter. (May/June 2013). Mastery: A comparison of wife and daughter caregivers of a person with dementia. Journal of Holistic Nursing, 31(2), 113-120.

Note: Full text available to AHNA members. Learn how.


AHNA members names in bold. We would love to hear about your research. Have you started your dissertation, had a paper published, presented, etc. Send your "Researcher in Action" to For publications, click on the article title for link to abstract (if available).

Research Term: Triangulation

By Sue Roe DPA, MS, BSN, RN 


You decide to "triangulate" in your next research study.  What does this mean? How is it accomplished? What are the benefits and limitations?  

Triangulation is an approach where two or more data sources are combined (such as methods, observers, or theories) in a single study. The presumption is that using a single data source does not provide enough information about a phenomena. The interconnected components of the totality of human beings, mind-body-spirit, recognized by holistic nurses, is triangulation at its best! These important "data sources" are collected in practice daily and used for assessment, action, intervention, and/or evaluation.  


The utility of data triangulation is to add explanatory power, richness, and complexity to results. By its nature, triangulation can give more power to data; offer confidence in findings (reliability); provide cross-verification and corroboration; and it can facilitate validation which is essential in qualitative studies (Silverman, 2006).  


 "The combination of multiple methodological practices...adds rigour, breadth, complexity, richness and depth to an inquiry." Flick (2002)


                A major concern or limitation in using triangulation is the possibility that findings from multiple sources will be divergent or contradictory.  Mathison (1988) contends that there are three outcomes when using triangulation:  convergence, inconsistency, and contradiction.  Some also believe that triangulation is a way to compensate for a weakness in a primary method so a second or even third methodological approach is used. While these limitations are real, in research, remember, uncovering findings that are unintended or surprising allows the researcher to open up new thinking, garner deeper insights, and/or probe further to determine if data are flawed.


Triangulation is often considered the rationale for multi or mixed method research (use of a combination of quantitative and qualitative measures) and it is also thought of as a methodological approach.


A researcher can use within-method triangulation such as incorporating differing scales to measure a concept in a single questionnaire or the more robust between or across-method triangulation. In between or across-method triangulation a follow up interview might be conducted with some or all of the respondents after the employment of a questionnaire to that same group (Denzin, 1970; 1978).


As an early advocate for the use of triangulation, Denzin (1970) suggested four types of triangulation.

  • Investigator triangulation: Using multiple researchers or observers in a study. The goal is to avoid selective perception or blind spots by seeking different ways of "seeing" data.
  • Methods triangulation: Using a variety of different methods to complement data collection. These methods may include interviews, observations, questionnaires, and documents.
  • Source or Data triangulation:  Using different aspects of the same method such as several samplings at different points in time.  
  • Theory/Perspective triangulation: Using more than one theory to examine and interpret the data.

Triangulation, as a tool, has a long history (it was used to navigate ships before instrumentation).  During the 1950s it emerged as an approach to consider when conducting research. Today, triangulation is an important methodological contributor to qualitative studies (interpretive research).


Triangulation has much to offer holistic nursing research as multiple data sources are very useful in garnering the insights needed to answer the many qualitative questions posed.  Some examples of triangulation in holistic nursing research include a pilot study on Reiki for self-care of nurses and healthcare providers where methods were triangulated using a self-report caring scale and interviews (Brathovde, 2006).  In another study, three nursing concepts were triangulated (art of nursing, presence, and caring) to determine qualitative convergence (Finfgeld-Connett, 2008).


Collecting and merging differing viewpoints is a key outcome for using triangulation in research. These viewpoints, when interpreted, provide that deeper understanding sought for topics or questions under study.  


To find a useful listing of sources in triangulation consult:

Sage Research Methods Retrieve 


View references.


View AHNA's growing research glossary. To contribute a definition or suggest a term, please contact




Feel free to share the content in this eNewsletter with your e-mail contacts, list-serves, or favorite discussion boards/ blogs. Please just be sure to mention that Connections is a benefit of AHNA membership.


Connections in Holistic Nursing Research    
Michalene A. King PhD, RN, CNE 

Pamela Crary PhD, RN

Sue Roe DPA, MS, BSN, RN
AHNA Board of Directors Coordinator for Research: 
Colleen Delaney PhD, RN, AHN-BC
Chair of the Research Committee of AHNA:
Sue Robertson RN, PhD, CNE  


Although the AHNA supports the concepts of holism, it refrains from endorsing specific practitioners, organizations, products, services or modalities. Opinions expressed in this eNewsletter may not reflect the position of the AHNA.