Using a Person-Oriented Approach in Nursing Research

Mitchell R. Knisely, Claire Burke Draucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


The purpose of this article was to provide an overview of the person-oriented approach, describe empirical examples of its use, and discuss how the approach may be used in nursing research. The person-oriented approach consists of theoretical and methodological components and provides a way to explore the heterogeneity of populations related to phenomena of interest. For analytic purposes, the person-oriented approach views the person as a holistic unit rather than a sum of his or her characteristics, and thus, it provides an alternative or complementary approach to the more traditional, variable-oriented approaches most commonly used to study health phenomena. Although the person-oriented approach has not been used extensively in nursing research, it offers promise for nursing scholars who study complex problems within heterogeneous populations and who seek to develop targeted interventions to more effectively promote desired health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)508-520
Number of pages13
JournalWestern journal of nursing research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016


  • methodological inquiry
  • nurses
  • nursing methodology
  • nursing research
  • person-oriented approach
  • violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

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