Date of Conferral







Donna Russell


During the past few decades, holistic education has increasingly emerged in academia. However, limited research has been conducted on how holistic education impacts instructional practices in real life situations like the well-being of cancer patients. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore how a holistic education program impacts instructional practices designed to improve the well-being of cancer patients. The conceptual framework was based on transformative learning theory and learner-centered teaching. This single case study was conducted at a non-profit cancer center in the Western United States which emphasizes multiple dimensions of well-being for cancer patients, including holistic education. Participants included four instructors at the center. Data were collected from individual interviews with these instructors, reflective journals that they maintained, and documents and archival records related to the center and its education programs. Data analysis involved line-by-line coding and categorization to identify patterns and themes. Results revealed that holistic education improves the knowledge, comfort, self-efficacy, and empowerment of cancer patients. Results indicated that it would be useful to conduct more studies to explore the impact of holistic instructional practices on patients with cancer. This study contributes to social change by providing instructors and health professionals with a deeper understanding of holistic instruction and how it can be used to improve whole-person healing.