Dr. Patricia Liehr, PhD, RN is the Sharon Raddock Distinguished Professor in Holistic Nursing at Florida Atlantic University Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing in Boca Raton, FL. Her scholarly contributions incorporate story theory, mindfulness and translation through the arts. She has most recently worked on the idea of “field to forum” translation of research findings; that is, bringing stories collected during the research process to a public forum for discussion. Her interdisciplinary collaborations have bridged to the arts and humanities as well as other disciplines within health care, including medicine, psychology and social work.
Dr. Liehr is the co-author of story theory. In more than a decade of work with the theory, Dr. Liehr has pioneered its use as an intervention to promote lifestyle change and she has developed approaches enabling qualitative (eg: health challenges and approaches used to resolve challenges) and quantitative (eg: linguistic analysis) measurement of story passages. She is also co-editor of Middle Range Theory for Nursing, a textbook used nationally and internationally for the education of graduate students in nursing.
The “field to forum” process pursued by Liehr is built on a 20-year collaboration with Japanese multi-disciplinary colleagues. The research team collected the health stories of survivors of Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima and published findings in respected scholarly journals. Then, through collaboration with colleagues in the arts, the stories were translated to a documentary theatre presentation entitled With Their Voices Raised (WTVR). WTVR presents the common ground experience of living with the aftermath of wartime bombing. It has been performed in the United States and Japan, reaching thousands of audience members who will never read a professional paper. The genre of documentary theatre includes a talk-back with the audience after each performance. The talk-backs have promoted cross-cultural understanding and emphasized the human desire for peace.
As the PI, co-PI or co-Investigator on a series of NIH-funded studies, Dr. Liehr has successfully led research team activities to accomplish tasks such as design of community based action research; qualitative and quantitative analysis of data from stress writings; implementation of behavioral interventions (eg: story-centered care; mindfulness; chair yoga) and measurement of physiological reactivity indicators (eg: blood pressure and heart rate).These have been cross-discipline studies with ethnically diverse samples, across a range of ages.
In the course of her academic career, Dr. Liehr has served as a mentor for countless junior scholars, including students in PhD programs as well as faculty scholars who are beginning to implement their program of research.