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Aesthetic Knowing: Understanding the Experience of Chronic Illness

Michael, Susan Rush DNSc, RN; Candela, Lori EdD, RN; Mitchell, Shae MSN, RN


Aesthetic knowing can help students gain a deeper understanding of a client’s life with chronic illness. Simply asking clients to describe what their illness means is not enough. Having clients express themselves through a form such as a drawing, poetry, song, pictures, letters, or any form comfortable to the clients often reveals critical information that can change the direction of planned nursing care. This article presents the process and outcomes of asking nursing students to do an aesthetic project with one of their clients whose case they managed in the community during the semester.

Author affiliation: Department of Nursing, University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Corresponding author: Susan Michael, DNSc, RN, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 4505 Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas, NV 89154-3018 (

© 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.