Trends in Contemporary Holistic Nursing Research: 2010-2015

Colleen Delaney, Ruth G. McCaffrey, Cynthia Barrere, Amy Kenefick Moore, Dorothy J. Dunn, Robin J. Miller, Sheila L. Molony, Debra Thomas, Teresa C. Twomey, Xiaoyuan (Susan) Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to describe and summarize the characteristics of contemporary holistic nursing research (HNR) published nationally. Design: A descriptive research design was used for this study. Method: Data for this study came from a consecutive sample of 579 studies published in six journals determined as most consistent with the scope of holistic nursing from 2010 to 2015. The Johns Hopkins level of evidence was used to identify evidence generated, and two criteria—power analysis for quantitative research and trustworthiness for qualitative research—were used to describe overall quality of HNR. Findings: Of the studies, 275 were considered HNR and included in the analysis. Caring, energy therapies, knowledge and attitudes, and spirituality were the most common foci, and caring/healing, symptom management, quality of life, and depression were the outcomes most often examined. Of the studies, 56% were quantitative, 39% qualitative, and 5% mixed-methods designs. Only 32% of studies were funded. Level III evidence (nonexperimental, qualitative) was the most common level of evidence generated. Conclusions: Findings from this study suggest ways in which holistic nurse researchers can strengthen study designs and thus improve the quality of scientific evidence available for application into practice and improve health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-394
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Holistic Nursing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2018.


  • conceptual/theoretical descriptors/identifiers
  • holistic
  • quantitative
  • research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing (miscellaneous)


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