International Practice Development Journal


Title of ArticleUsing appreciative inquiry to research practice development
Type of ArticleCritical Reflection on Practice Development
Author/sLillian Hung
ReferenceVolume 7, Issue 1, Article 5
Date of PublicationMay 2017
Keywordsappreciative inquiry, critical reflection, dementia, engagement, person-centred care, practice development


Background: Appreciative inquiry is a theory and method of research in organisational development, characterised by a positive approach. There is a growing interest in using appreciative inquiry to support practice development in healthcare.

Aims: This article is a critical reflection on my experience of using appreciative inquiry in my doctoral research into practice development in dementia care. I explain the value of adopting a positive orientation in conducting my research in a practice development project within a medical unit, considering insights and lessons learned.

Conclusions: Appreciative inquiry offers a useful approach whereby novice researchers can engage practitioners in practice development projects. The appreciative stance of the researcher lays a foundation for the development of a safe environment in which participants can discuss different ideas and try out innovative actions.

Implications for practice:

  • Instituting regular team reflection enables practitioners to collaborate in practice development
  • A sense of being able to influence or make a difference motivates practitioners to contribute and take actions
  • Practitioners should be empowered with resources to address issues that impact directly on their everyday work

This article by Lillian Hung is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 3.0 License.

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