Using Appreciative Inquiry to Make a Real Difference to the Experience of Care

Dr Beca Stilwell, Anna Tee, and Dr Bethan Lloyd

Hywel Dda University Health Board

This project tested the principles of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) at the front line of healthcare.

This was a short intervention, at the ward level, using the leadership of a clinical psychologist that explored how AI could be used to develop nurses’ understanding of what enhances compassionate care. AI holds at its core the principle that something works well in every system. Using the 7Cs of caring conversations (Dewar, 2013) as the model, the things that worked, i.e. good practice was observed and reflected on with nursing staff.

What makes this approach different?

Unlike the typical approach of ‘finding the problem and fixing it’, AI offers an alternative where the focus is placed on the things that work well. By creating a better balance, can we improve care?

Our project has shown that this is possible, but also that a lot more work is needed. We see this as the start of a journey, one that includes better balance in feedback that recognises and celebrates the things that we do well and encourages more of the same.

This Project Supports Prudent Healthcare

By improving:

Early Outcomes

By being involved in this project, staff have developed increased:

Examples of findings using the 7Cs model

Being courageous: courage to ask questions and try things out:

Connecting emotionally: noticing how we are feeling:

Being curious: suspending certainty and looking for the sense of what is said:

Collaborating: talking together, looking for the good in others:

Considering other perspectives: creating space to hear differences:

Compromising: working hard to suspend judgement and talking together: