The concept of "the will to thrive" in mental health

Cassandra Powers, Valerie A. Hart, Mona Shattell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Mental health nursing is focused on patients moving along the continuum between failing and thriving in terms of emotional functioning. This differs dramatically from a medical model of disease/cure. A variety of nursing theorists have both directly and indirectly identified the importance of patient's "will to thrive" although this term has never been used. Peplau spoke of self-efficacy and self-esteem. Barrett's model focuses on the patient's participation in their own recovery as a key component. This article explores the concept, akin to failure to thrive in infants, of the will to thrive in the chronically ill and its role in assessment and nursing intervention. A particular emphasis on the importance of patient responsibility is identified as vital to the process of true change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)805-807
Number of pages3
JournalIssues in mental health nursing
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health


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