Integrative Health and Wellness Assessment Tool – Research

Integrative Health and Wellness Assessment

Key points

  • Integrative self-assessment is a first step in supporting goals and action steps to decrease burnout and enhance well-being in critical care nurses.
  • The Theory of Integrative Nurse Coaching supports self-care in critical care nurses as an individual journey or a unit-based process.
  • The IHWA tool can be integrated into coaching sessions for diverse populations in any setting.


The purpose of this article is to discuss the background and use of the Integrative Health and Wellness Assessment (IHWA)1 Tool as it relates to critical care nursing. Although the foundation of nursing is grounded in holistic nursing theory and practice, the nature of the critical care environment often pulls the nurse into a task-oriented model.

In an effort to address the serious life-sustaining requirements of the patient, document appropriately in the electronic record, and meet institutional mandates, critical care nurses may lose their focus on the whole patient. This can lead to fragmentation in care, discontentment, job dissatisfaction, burnout, and loss of meaning in their nursing practice.

McElligott D, Turnier J. Integrative health and wellness assessment tool. Crit Care Nurs Clin North Am. 2020;32(3):439-450


Deborah McElligott, DNP, ANP-BC, AHN-BC, HWNC-BC, CDE is an Adult and Holistic Nurse Practitioner, and Integrative Nurse Coach.  She holds certifications in many Integrative Modalities including, Reflexology, meditation, AMMA massage and Integrative Imagery. Her nursing career includes experience in surgery, integrative medicine, administration, education and consultation.  Deborah now focuses on health promotion, wellbeing and healing through individual and group coaching. She is faculty at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine @ Hofstra-Northwell, and the International Nurse Coach Association. She has conducted, presented both locally and internationally, and published research, papers, and book chapters in the area of integrative therapies, health promotion, healing, and integrative nurse coaching.

Joanne Turnier
Joanne Turnier
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