ArticlesDespair: A Unitary Appreciative InquiryCowling, W. Richard III PhD, CS, RNAuthor Information School of Nursing, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond. Corresponding author: W. Richard Cowling III, PhD, CS, RN, School of Nursing, Virginia Commonwealth University, 1220 E Board St, PO Box 980567, Richmond, VA 23298 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org). Advances in Nursing Science: October-November-December 2004 - Volume 27 - Issue 4 - p 287-300 Buy Abstract A unitary appreciative case study method was used to explicate unitary understandings of despair embedded in the unique personal life contexts of the participants. Fourteen women engaged in dialogical, appreciative interviews that led to the creation of profiles of the life pattern or course associated with despair for each woman. Three exemplar cases are detailed including the profiles that incorporate story, metaphor, music, and imagery. The voices of the women provide morphogenic knowledge of the contexts, nature, consequences, and contributions of despair as well as practical guidance for healthcare providers. © 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.