American Holistic Nurses Association
In This Issue
Research Profile
Lynn Rew EdD, RN, C, AHN-BC, FAAN
Research Findings in Healing Touch
AHNA 2009 Conference Proposals
Join the Discussion
Aromatherapy Article
Research Consultations
Critical Incident Technique
Researchers in Action
News and Notes
Upcoming Events
AHNA 2008 Conference Summary
AHNA Research Survey Results
Quick Links
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Welcome to our first Holistic Nursing Research eNewsletter
It is with great excitement that we launch the first issue of AHNA Holistic Nursing Research Connection eNews. We plan to have four issues a year that highlight the latest research in holistic nursing and allow holistic nursing researchers a place to share their findings with AHNA members. 
In each issue we will focus on a holistic nurse researcher, his or her accomplishments and recommendations for holistic nursing research and researchers.
In this issue we will provide a cameo on a noted holistic nurse researcher: Lynn Rew EdD, RN, C, AHN-BC, FAAN who also edited our association's Journal of Holistic Nursing from 1997-2005.
We invite you to contact us when you have a research article published, complete a thesis or dissertation, develop a project or receive a research grant.
We also invite you to send us brief announcement on topics that are related to holistic nursing research. For example in this issue Ruth McCaffefry has provided a summary of her study on aromatherapy that was funded by a grant from Nature's Gift a company that supplies essential oils.
Please also let us know your ideas and desires for this research eNews.
Many thanks to Amber Cline for coming up with this idea and actively making this a possibility. Please visit the research section of the AHNA Web site and send us your ideas for both the Web site and research eNews.

Rorry Zahourek PhD, PMHCNS-BC , AHN-BC
AHNA Leadership Council Coordinator for Research
Amber Cline, AHNA Communications Associate
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Research Profile - Lynn Rew EdD, RN, AHN-BC, FAAN
True confession:  Nearly 30 years ago when I finished writing and defending my dissertation to earn my doctorate in education, I proclaimed to the world that I would never again do one bit of research. I hated it, I had endured it, I didn't understand it all that well, and now it was time to get on with my practice of holistic nursing! Well, it didn't take long before I realized that even with a doctorate, I had plenty more to learn about holistic nursing and how to provide the best services for my growing clientele.
Nursing research is now an integral and vital part of my life and I hope I never have to stop doing it. As a holistic nurse, I want and need to know what is at the cutting edge of knowledge development and the best way to know this is to conduct the studies that build that knowledge. Even if a nurse doesn't have the academic preparation or desire to do research, we all need to know how to find it, evaluate it, and incorporate it into our practice. A good way to begin is to keep a notebook full of burning questions-what is this? How is this related to that? What happens if we do this? How can we make this or that happen?
Another good way to begin is by reading a variety of professional literature. Books generally summarize information that is at least a year or two old, so journals are the best way to keep up with the latest findings. And reading broadly, across disciplines, will ensure that you are keeping up with the many dimensions of human behavior  and health.
It has taken a long time for me to become comfortable saying that I am a researcher, but with several federal grants on my CV, I'm proud to say that I'm happy with that designation. As holistic nurses, we are familiar with imagining the best life has to offer, and then living our dreams. My dream now is to keep doing research until the day I die!

The picture shows me on the "drag" at The University of Texas at Austin. In the background is a group of homeless youth who participated in my research.

I hold the Denton & Louise Cooley and Family Centennial Professorship in Nursing at The University of Texas at Austin (since 1983). My BSN was earned at the University of Hawaii, Honolulu. My MSN and EdD were both earned at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL. My post-doctoral fellowship in adolescent health was completed at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.
I was a founding member of AHNA and a member of the original editorial board of JHN, which began in March 1983. I became editor in 1997 with Volume 15 (1) and served in that capacity through 2005, Volume 23 (4). I then served as Assoc. Editor for Research until December, 2007.

My research has focused on intuition and health behaviors of adolescents.
A sample of Lynn's research publications include:
(A complete list of publications is available here.)

Rew, L. & Barrow, E. M.  (1987).  Intuition: A neglected hallmark of nursing knowledge.  Advances in Nursing Science, 10(1), 49-62.
Rew, L. (2000).  Friends and pets as companions:  Strategies for coping with loneliness among homeless adolescents.  The Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing, 13, 125-132.

Rew, L.,  Wong, Y.J., & Sternglanz, R.W. (2004) The relationship among prayer, health behavior and protective resources in school-age children. Issues in Comprehensive Pediatric Nursing, 27, 245-255.

Rew, L., & Barrow, E.M. (2007). State of the science: Intuition in nursing, a generation of studying the phenomenon. Advances in Nursing Science, 30(1), E15-E25.

Rew, L., Whittaker, T., Grady, M., & Bowman, K. (2008). Interaction of duration of homelessness and gender on adolescent sexual health behaviors. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 40, 109-115.
Current Research Findings in Healing Touch
by Diane Wind Wardell, PhD, RN, WHNP-BC, AHN-BC, CHTP/I, Research Director for Healing Touch International, Inc.
Healing Touch has been the focus of three recent articles in professional journals. The topics are varied and include Healing Touch's effects on health and service outcomes, stress markers, and energy field patterns. These articles were published in three different journals, used different approaches, and together reflect the growing body of knowledge that supports the use of this energy-based therapy for health and healing. Healing Touch is a multi-level program of study that teaches non-invasive healing techniques. Practitioners use their hands to facilitate the person's self-healing in order to restore harmony and balance in their energy system. 
Maville, J.A., Bowen, J.E., & Benham, G. (March/April 2008). Effect of Healing Touch on stress perception and biological correlates. Holistic Nursing Practice. 22(2):103-110.
Wardell, D.W., Rintala, D., & Tan, G. (May/June 2008) Study descriptions of healing touch with veterans experiencing chronic neuropathic pain from spinal cord injury. Explore, 4(3):187-95.   

In order to understand the effects of complementary therapies, it is important to include a wide range of study designs to allow for the complex nature of the interactions and processes that occur. Each of these studies highlights difficulties and accomplishments in conducting research with energy-based therapies such as Healing Touch, Therapeutic Touch and Reiki. 
Even though a randomized controlled trial is considered the benchmark, it is apparent from the article that outcomes extend beyond our instrumentation and measurements.  The qualitative analysis of energy field data is a new way to look at outcomes and is enhanced by the mixed method approach. There is much to be learned in this area of nursing care and much to be gained by continuing to hold an open mind to the possibilities. For further information on Healing Touch research, visit the research section of the Healing Touch International, Inc. Web site at 
Healing Touch International, Inc. 2008
AHNA 2009 Conference off to Great Start!
A huge thanks to all who sent us proposals for our 2009 annual conference. We received over 120 workshop proposals! The committee is now working industriously to make the selections that are just right for this conference.This is a hard task since there are so many great ones to choose from. Notifications will be made by Miriam Hillson ( by November 1, 2008.

Please think about submitting a poster of your work for the 2009 conference. Research poster proposals will be accepted until December 1, 2008 (midnight Pacific time). Click here for submission forms and instructions.
1 on 1 Consultations at 2009 Conference
We will offer 1 on 1 consultations again this years. Spots will be limited and the cost $35 for 45 minute consultations.
CEs will not be awarded. Remember to sign up for consultations when registering for conference. Consultations will be held during free time on Saturday.
Needed Holistic Nurse researchers to be consultants for 45 minute sessions at the AHNA 2009 conference. Please contact Sue Peck,, to volunteer - you will be contributing to another nurse's development in holistic nursing research. Please respond by December 1, 2008.
Resources for Researchers
New IN-CAM Outcomes Database Now Available
The IN-CAM Outcomes Database, which organizes and categorizes CAM research outcome measures within a Framework of Outcome Domains, was recently launched at the 3rd International Congress on Complementary Medicine Research in Sydney, Australia. The database was developed by a group of researchers who are members of the Canadian IN-CAM Research Network and can be found at: 
The Office on Women's Health Quick Health Data Online
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health provides access to state and county level health status data free of charge. The new Health Disparities Profiles examines 21 key health indicators at the state level for different racial and ethnic populations and the Women's Health Chartbook is an easy-to-use collection of current data on critical issues of relavance to women. Find these and other tools by clicking on the title above.
While the PedCAM network brings together Canadian pediatric CAM researchers and educators, giving them a unified voice, all AHNA members have been invited to participate. PedCAM is a network specializing in pediatric complementary and alternative medicine, is an academic, non-commercial organization and membership is free. Member benefits include access to various databases of member practitioners interested in pediatric research and education, information about grants/funding, education, publications, events, and PubMed pediatric CAM searches. Visit the Web site at
Meditation Practices for Health: State of the Research
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has evidence reports based on rigorous, comprehensive syntheses and analyses of relevant scientific literature, emphasizing explicit and detailed documentation of methods, rationale, and assumptions. Click on the title above to view the free online evidence book for meditation.
Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society Research Grants
Research grants
from the Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society now available! The purpose of these grants is to To encourage nurses to contribute to the advancement of nursing through research. The society offers 10 to 15 small grants ($5,000 max) yearly and other grant opportunities are also available. Click on the title for more information.
Join the Discussion
Do you have a question about grant writing? Are you looking for collaborators for your research project? Would you like to share your latest findings? Then visit the AHNA Discussion Forum.
(Note: You will need to login with your AHNA member account to view this page. Click "My Login" at top left. If you haven't already created or activated a user name and password on our new Web site, please Click Here for instructions). 
If you are unfamiliar with discussion forums they work something like e-mails that all AHNA members can view, but the messages are accessed through the AHNA Web site (vs. through your own personal e-mail). A "forum" is an overall topic (for example: "Latest Research Findings").  A "thread" is the beginning question or comment within that topic (for example, WHEE). Many people can then reply to each thread creating an ongoing discussion. Each thread or reply is counted as a "post."  Anyone can create a new thread within a forum, however overall forum topics must be created by AHNA. To suggest a forum topic, please e-mail

We encourage every AHNA member to take advantage of this new tool and benefit of membership. Help us build our community!
For instructions on using the discussion forum click here
AHNA Research Grant Recipient Completes Study
Using Aroma Therapy to Reduce Nursing Student Stress: A Pilot Study
Funded by Nature's Gift through the American Holistic Nurses Association 

This study examined the ability of lavender and rosemary, used as aroma therapy, to reduce test taking anxiety and stress in graduate nursing students. Thirty-four graduate nurse students were recruited as participants for the study. These students were in their last clinical course of a Family Nurse Practitioner program. From the data gathered during this study, we can conclude that both lavender and rosemary have some effect on test anxiety in graduate nursing students.
Read the entire article.
Research Consultations Available
Ruth McCaffery is heading up a research consultation program for members. She is available to help members develop research questions, help with choosing methodologies, find resources and interpret findings. She will consult herself or find others who will be able to help. The goal is to eventually develop a mentorship program to develop our growing expert holistic nursing research base.
Research Technique: Critical Incident Technique
by Leighsa Sharoff EdD, RN, NPP, AHN-BC
  • The Critical Incident Technique (CIT) is a qualitative, systematic, open-ended technique for educing descriptive data from participants.
  • It can be used as a primary source of data collection or as an evaluation technique to supplement the interview or questionnaire questions as well as provide data for triangulation.
  • The CIT is a powerful methodological instrument that can foster reflection and promote personal expression.
  • CITs can be used to assist nurses and healthcare professionals to gain a deeper and more personal understanding of clients, acquiring their perspectives and concerns as well as a more personal awareness of oneself.
  • It can be developed to conform to any area of nursing and provide a more comprehensive awareness of what nurses do and the needs of our clients. 

Read the entire article.

AHNA Researchers in Action
Some papers recently published by AHNA members: 

Carol Baldwin et al. (2008). Influence of intestinal stoma on spiritual quality of life in U.S. veterans. Journal of Holistic Nursing, 26(3), 185-194. 
Note: Commentary by Joan Engebretson. View the abstract. Full text available free to AHNA members.

Marlaine Smith & Loraine Kyle. (2008). Holistic foundations of aromatherapy for nursing. Holistic Nursing Practice, 22(1), 3-10.
Note: Has a continuing education test attached. View the abstract.
Leighsa Sharoff. (2008).  Exploring nurses' perceived benefits of utilizing holistic modalities for self and clients. Holistic Nursing Practice, 22(1), 15-25.
View the abstract.
Glenda Christiaen, JoAnn Abegglen, & Alanna Rowley. (2008). Nursing students' perceptions of a holistic nursing conference: Empowerment, self care, and application to practice. Journal of Holistic Nursing, 26(2), 139-146.
View the abstract. Full text available free to AHNA members.
Valerie Eschiti. (2008). Complementary and alternative modalities used by women with female specific cancers. Holistic Nursing Practice, 22(3), 127-139.
Note: Has a continuing education test attached. View the abstract.
Mary Anne Hanley. (2008).  Therapeutic Touch with preterm infants:  Composing a treatment.  Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing, 4, 249-258.
View the abstract.

Are you proud of your research? We would love to hear about it. Send your "Researcher in Action" to
News and Notes
AHNA members presented at the Society of Rogerian Scholars (SRS) 20th anniversary conference in Cleveland, Ohio October 10-12, 2008. Marlaine Smith who is president of SRS and an AHNA member presented. Elizabeth Barrett discussed the evolution of her power theory and the tools she has developed. Richard Cowling discussed his method of Unitary Appreciative Inquiry for research and the development of a theory for healing. Rorry Zahourek presented a unitary conceptual framework for healing during terminations. Violet Malinsky who recently rejoined AHNA presented on the evolving path of Rogerian Science. 

Rorry Zahourek is currently representing AHNA on the Council for Healing. She is standing in for Lucia Thornton while Lucia serves her term as AHNA president. The group met in Salt Lake City in August. The council is a network of individual healers and healing organizations whose mission is to promote understanding of healing and advance access to healing. The council has been gathering and disseminating information on healing research and consults on design, methods and clinical problems identified by members. A wonderful compendium of healing research can be found on the web at

Have you recently presented, started a new study, or are you looking for volunteers or collaborators? Share your news here. Send your "News and Notes" to
Upcoming Events
2009 NDNQI Conference
The third annual National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators Data Use Conference, New Frontiers in Quality Care, is scheduled on January 22 and 23, 2009, in Dallas, TX at Hyatt Regency Dallas at Reunion. The pre-conference will be held on January 21, 2009. Click on the title above for conference updates.
AHNA 2008 Conference Summary on Medscape
A summary of AHNA's 2008 Conference can be found on Medscape. AHNA's efforts to support and disseminate holistic nursing research continued at the 28th Annual Conference. The article discusses Merrily Kuhn's pre-conference session on Herbs, Drugs, Supplements and the Body. As more and more people turn to natural products or herbs and herb supplements, it is imperative that healthcare professionals understand botanical products, drug/herb interactions, and potential safety issues. Another topic is Evidence-Based Practice and its role in the long-term effort to close the gap between research and practice. Click here to read the article. (One time, free registration is required.)
AHNA Research Survey Results 2006-2007
How and where do AHNA members practice nursing? How and to what extent do they participate in nursing research? The research committee of the AHNA determined that these are important questions to ask, and as a result have conducted surveys of AHNA members' research activities at annual conferences. Of the 111 AHNA members surveyed over two conferences, 2006 and 2007, 51% have been directly involved in the research process.
Read the article.
Name This eNewsletter
While Holistic Nursing Research Connection is descriptive, it isn't very catchy. What would you name this eNewsletter? Send your suggestions to

The Voice of Holistic Nursing 

American Holistic Nurses Association
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Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(800) 278-2462

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.

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