Patricia Liehr was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and she completed most of her education in Pennsylvania except for her doctorate which was completed at the University of Maryland at Baltimore. Dr. Liehr joined the Florida Atlantic University Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing as a Professor and the first Associate Dean for Nursing Research and Scholarship in 2004. In August, 2014, she left her Associate Dean role to assume a faculty position as a professor of nursing. She is co-author, with Dr. Mary Jane Smith, of Story Theory and the textbook, Middle Range Theory for Nursing. Dr. Liehr believes that stories are powerful entities for chronicling and creating health and her research endeavors reflect this belief. Dr. Liehr is married to Mr. Angelo J. Sands, the Florida Atlantic University men's golf coach.


Dr. Liehr's teaching draws on her expertise with theory-development and research. She has taught in the undergraduate and doctoral programs at the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing. At the doctoral level she supports student dissertation idea development through coursework and through serving as a dissertation chair. At the undergraduate level, she helps to familiarize students with research and with the pursuit of evidence to guide nursing practice.

Dr. Liehr's research focus can broadly be described as one addressing peace, both personal and global. This work includes the study of interventions such as yoga, mindfulness and story-centered care but it also encompasses the use of creative story-based approaches to bridge misunderstandings at a global level.

Dr. Liehr's focus on peace emerged in the study of stress beginning with her dissertation research where she focused on cardiovascular-reactivity-during-talking (story-sharing) using standardized protocols that framed talking as a relevant social stressor with potential to affect health. As the PI, co-PI or co-Investigator on a series of NIH-funded studies Dr. Liehr has led research team activities to accomplish activities like analysis of story data, implementation of cardiovascular reactivity protocols and oversight of integrative health interventions, such as mindfulness and yoga. The populations in these NIH-funded studies included ethnically diverse participants in middle/high schools, African-American church communities, residents in substance abuse treatment facilities and community-dwelling older adults suffering chronic illness. These experiences informed understanding about community capacity building, a sort of bridge-building which Liehr believes is essential to nursing research. As Dr. Liehr pursued understanding of meaningful ways to address stress, she became interested and experienced in peace-promoting endeavors such as mindfulness and yoga. She served as a co-investigator for an NIH-funded study on mindfulness with residents in a Therapeutic Community and as co-principal investigator for an NIH-funded study of chair yoga for vulnerable older adults with osteoarthritis.

Dr. Liehr has an active research program that has been developing for nearly two decades with Japanese colleagues. The current work of the team focuses on creative dissemination of findings from a study of health stories from Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima survivors. This is multi-disciplinary research where stories of health were gathered and analyzed with guidance from Story Theory, a middle range theory co-developed by Dr. Liehr. In this research, the team used Story Inquiry Method, a qualitative analysis approach to identify the turning points in survivors' stories. The team now includes a playwright who used the stories to develop a verbatim theatre performance entitled "With Their Voice Raised". "With Their Voices Raised" premiered in the United States in 2012-2013; it was performed by Hiroshima high school students in Kyoto in May, 2014 and Hawaii high school students at the Pacific Aviation Museum - Pearl Harbor in November, 2014. The future of this work includes use of "With Their Voice Raised" to educate high school students about the human face of war and the importance of pursuing peace.

Grants Awarded

  • 2012 - 2016: Co-Principal Investigator. Effect of sit ‘n’ fit chair yoga on community dwelling elders with osteoarthritis. Funded by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, NIH ($387,569) 2012 - 2016
  • 2007 - 2010: Co-investigator, Community partnership to affect Cherokee adolescent substance use (J. Lowe, P.I.), Funded by the National Institute of Drug Abuse, ($1, 365,319).
  • 2004 - 2008: Co-investigator, Stress reduction in therapeutic community treatment. (M Marcus, P.I.). Funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, ($1,537,637).
  • 1999 - 2002: Co-investigator, Substance abuse/HIV prevention in African-American youth. (M Marcus, P.I.). Funded by the Center for substance abuse prevention, SAMHSA, ($830,000).
  • 1997 - 2000: Principal Investigator, Defining a nursing-sensitive blood pressure measure. Funded by the National Institute for Nursing Research, National Institute of Health, AREA award, 1997 (103,675).
  • 1996 - 1999: Co-Principal Investigator, Adolescent blood pressure and anger: Ethnic differences. (J. Meininger, P.I.). Funded by National Institute for Nursing Research, National Institute of Health, 1996 ($1,076.340).

Recent Publications

  • *McCaffrey, R. & Liehr, P. (2015). The effect of reflective garden walking on adults with increased levels of psychological stress. Journal of Holistic Nursing, 33(3), 1-8.
  • Millender, E. I., Lowe, J. & Liehr, P. (2015). What's in a name? Hispanic immigrant refugee identity crisis: Focus on Mayas. AlterNative, 11(2), 191-198.
  • *Taylor, W.C., Horan, A., Pinion, C., & Liehr, P. (2014, May). Evaluation of booster breaks in the workplace. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 56(5), 529-534.
  • *Jolly, K., Archibald, C. & Liehr, P. (2013). Risk-taking in first and second generation Afro Caribbean adolescents: An emerging challenge for school nurses. The Journal of School Nursing, doi:10.1177/1059840513475819.
  • Smith, M. J., & Liehr, P. R. (Eds.). (2014). Middle Range Theory for Nursing. 3rd Ed. New York: Springer.
  • Liehr, P.R.& Smith, M.J. (2011). Modeling the complexity of story theory for nursing practice. In A.W. Davidson, M.A. Ray, M.C. Turkel (Eds.), Nursing, Caring and Complexity Science. New York: Springer.
  • Liehr, P.R. & Smith, M.J. (2015). Story theory. In Nursing Theories and Nursing Practice. 4th Ed. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis.
  • Liehr, P., & Smith, M. J. (2006). Middle range theories. In J. Fitzpatrick & M. Wallace (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Nursing Research (2nd ed.), New York: Springer.
  • Liehr, P., & LoBiondo-Wood, G. Qualitative approaches to research. (2006). In G. LoBiondo-Wood & J. Haber (Eds.), Nursing Research: Methods, Critical Appraisal and Utilization, (6th ed.), St. Louis, MO: C.V. Mosby.
  • Liehr, P., & Smith, M. J. (2006). Frameworks for research. In G. LoBiondo-Wood & J. Haber (Eds.), Nursing Research: Methods, Critical Appraisal and Utilization (6th ed.), St. Louis, MO: C.V. Mosby.

Manuscripts (* data-based)

  • Liehr, P.R., Morris, KI., Leavitt, M.A. & Takahashi, R. (2013). Translating research finding to promote peace: Moving from "field to forum" with verbatim theatre. ANS, 36(3), 160-170.
  • *Liehr, P. Nishimura, C., Ito, M., Wands, L.M., & Takahashi, R. (2011). A lifelong journey of moving beyond wartime trauma for survivors from Hiroshima and Pearl Harbor. Advances in Nursing Science, 34(3), 215-228.
  • *Hain, D.J., Wands, L.M., & Liehr, P. (2011). Approaches to resolve health challenges in a population of older adults undergoing hemodialysis. Research in Gerontological Nursing,4(1), 53-62.
  • *McCaffrey, R., Liehr, P., Gregerson, T., & Nishioka, R. (2011). Garden walking and art therapy for depression in older adults: A pilot study. Research in Gerontological Nursing 18(93) 48-52.
  • *Liehr, P., Marcus, M., Carroll, D., Granmayeh, L.K., Cron, S.G. & Pennebaker, J.W. (2010). Linguistic analysis to assess the effect of a mindfulness intervention on self-change for people in substance use recovery. Substance Abuse, 31, 79-85.
  • *Liehr, P., & Diaz, N. (2010). A pilot study examining the effect of mindfulness on depression and anxiety for minority children. Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, 24(1), 69-71.
  • *Lowe, J., Riggs, C., Henson, J. & Liehr, P. (2009). Cherokee self-reliance and word-use in stories of stress. Journal of Cultural Diversity, 16(1), 5-9.
  • *Bankston, S.M., Carroll, D.D., Cron, S.G., Granmayeh, L.K., Marcus, M.T., Moeller, F.G., Schmitz, J.M., Swank, P. & Liehr, P.R. (2009). Substance abuser impulsivity decreases with a nine-month stay in a Therapeutic Community. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 35, 417-420.
  • *Takahashi, R., Nishimura, C., Ito, M., Wands, L.M., Kanata, T. & Liehr, P. (2009). Health stories of Hiroshima and Pearl Harbor survivors. Journal of Aging, Humanities and the Arts, 3, 160-174.
  • *Liu, H. & Liehr, P. (2009). Instructive messages from Chinese nurses' stories of caring for SARS patients. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 18, 2880-2887.
  • *Marcus, M., Schmitz, J., Moeller, F.G., Liehr, P., Cron, S.G., Swank, P., Bankston, S., Carroll, D. & Granmayeh, L.K. (2009). Mindfulness-based stress reduction in therapeutic community Treatment: A stage 1 trial. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 35, 103-108.
  • *Carroll, D., Lange, B. Liehr, P., Raines, S. & Marcus, M. (2008). Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, 22(2), 107-109.
  • *Wongpiriyayothar, A., Pothiban, L., Liehr, P., Senaratana, W. & Sucumvang, K. (2008). Effects of home-based care program on symptom alleviation and well-being among persons with chronic heart failure. Thai Journal of Nursing Research, 12(1), 25-38.
  • Liehr, P. (2008). Caring scholar response to: Honors programs as a way to grow the discipline. International Journal for Human Caring, 12(2), 54-57.
  • Jolly, K., Weiss, J. & Liehr, P. (2007) Understanding adolescent voice as a guide for nursing practice and research. Issues in Comprehensive Pediatric Nursing, 30, 3-13.
  • *Marcus, M., Liehr, P., Schmitz, J., Moeller, G., Swank, P., Fine, P. M., Cron, S., Granmayeh, K. & Carroll, D. D. (2007). Behavioral therapies trials: A case example. Nursing Research, 56(3), 210-216.
  • *Ito, M., Takahashi, R., & Liehr, P. (2007). Heeding the behavioral message of elders with dementia in daycare. Holistic Nursing Practice, 21(1), 12-18.
  • *Mandell, M. S., D'Alessandro, A. M., Zamudio, S., Seem, D., McGraw, L. J., Wood, G., Liehr, P., et al. (2006). National evaluation of healthcare provider attitudes towards organ donation after cardiac death. Critical Care Medicine, 34(12), 1-6.
  • *Liehr, P., Meininger, J. C., Vogler, R., Frazier, L., Smalling, S., & Fuentes, F. (2006). Adding story-centered care to standard lifestyle intervention for Stage 1 hypertension. Applied Nursing Research, 19(1), 16-21.
  • Liehr, P., & Hain, D. (2005). Shifting health outcomes through stories. Storytelling Magazine, 18(1), 14.
  • *Taylor, W., Liehr, P., Laws, D., Ahsan, S., Edwards, T., Walker, T., & Marcus, M. (2005). Linguistic inquiry and word count: An unobtrusive strategy to evaluate youth camps. Journal of Youth Ministry, 4(1), 39-51.
  • Smith, M. J., & Liehr, P. (2005). Story theory: Advancing nursing practice scholarship. Holistic Nursing Practice, 19(6), 272-277.
  • Liehr, P. (2005). Looking at symptoms with a middle range lens. Advanced Studies in Nursing, 3(5), 152-157.
  • *Takahashi, R., Liehr, P., Nishimura, C., Ito, M., & Summers, L. (2005). The meaning of health for Japanese elders who have had a stroke. Japan Journal of Nursing Science, 2, 41-49.
  • *Marcus, M. T., Walker, T., Swint, J. M., Smith, B. P., Brown, C., Busen, N., Edwards, T., Liehr, P., Taylor, W. C., & von Sternberg, K. (2004). Community-based participatory research to prevent substance abuse and HIV/AIDS in African American adolescents. Journal of Interprofessional Practice, 18(4), 347-359.
  • Liehr, P., Takahashi, R., Liu, H., Nishimura, C., Ito, M., & Summers, L. (2004). Bridging distance and culture with a cyberspace method of qualitative analysis. Advances in Nursing Science, 27(3), 176-186.
  • *Meininger, J. C., Liehr, P., Chan, W., Smith, G. & Mueller, W. (2004). Developmental, gender, and ethnic group differences in moods and ambulatory blood pressure in adolescents. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 28, 10-19.
  • *Liehr, P., Mehl, M., Summers, L., & Pennebaker, J. W. (2004). Connecting with others in the midst of stressful upheaval on September 11, 2001. Applied Nursing Research, 17(1), 2-9.
  • *Summers, L. C., Williams, J., Borges, W., Ortiz, M., Schaefer, S. & Liehr, P. (2003). School based center viability: Application of the COPC model. Issues in Comprehensive Pediatric Nursing, 26, 231-251.
  • *Marcus, M., Fine, M., Moeller, F. G., Khan, M. M., Pitts, K., Swank, P. R., & Liehr, P. (2003). Change in stress levels following mindfulness-based stress reduction in a therapeutic community. Addictive Disorders and Their Treatment, 2(3), 63-68.
  • *Gladney, A., Ayars, C., Taylor, W. C., Liehr, P., & Meininger, J. C. Consistency of findings produced by two multidisciplinary research teams. Sociology, 37(2), 297-313.
  • Nishimura, C., Takahashi, R., Miyamoto, S., Saito, T., Kanemaru, A., & Liehr, P. (2003). Lessons learned as a research assistant studying ambulatory blood pressure in elderly Japanese stroke patients. Nursing and Health Sciences, 5, 51-57.
  • Liehr, P., Leaverton, R., Yepes, A., Frazier, L., & Fuentes, F. (2003). Addressing current challenges to cardiac rehabilitation care. AACN Clinical Issues: Advanced Practice in Acute and Critical Care, 14(1), 13-24
  • *Reyes, L. R., Meininger, J. C., Liehr, P., Chan, W., & Mueller, W. H. (2003). Anger in adolescents: Gender, ethnicity, age differences and psychometric properties. Nursing Research, 52(1), 2-11.
  • Thomas, S. A., Liehr, P., Friedmann, E., Frazier, L., & DeKayser, F. (2002). A review of nursing research on blood pressure over the past decade. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 34(4), 313-322.
  • *Liehr, P., Takahashi, R., Nishimura, C., Frazier, L., Kuwajima, I., & Pennebaker, J. W. (2002). Expressing health experience through embodied language. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 34(1), 25-30.
  • *Mueller, W. H., Cho, S. D., Meininger, J. C., Liehr, P., & Chan, W. (2001). Strategies for combining and scaling sexual maturity indicators: The Heartfelt Study. Annals of Human Biology, 28(4), 422-430.
  • *Meininger, J. C., Liehr, P., Mueller, W. H., & Chan, W. (2001). Identification of high risk adolescents for interventions to lower blood pressure. In S. Funk (Ed.). Keys aspects of managing chronic illness (pp. 57-70). New York: Springer.
  • Liehr, P., & Smith, M. J. (2000). Using story to guide nursing practice. International Journal for Human Caring, 4(2), 13-18.
  • *Liehr, P., Meininger, J., Mueller, W. H., Chan, W., Frazier, L., & Reyes, L. R. (2000). Psychometric testing of the adolescent version of the Cook-Medley Hostility Scale. Issues in Comprehensive Pediatric Nursing, 23, 103-116.
  • *Meininger, J. C., Liehr, P., Mueller, W. H., Chan, W., Smith, G., & Portman, R. (1999). Stress-induced alterations and 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure in adolescents. Blood Pressure Monitoring, 4, 115 120.
  • Smith, M. J., & Liehr, P. (1999). Attentively embracing story: A middle range theory with practice and research implications. Scholarly Inquiry for Nursing Practice, 13(3), 3-27.
  • Liehr, P., & Smith, M. J. (1999). Middle range theory: Spinning research and practice to create knowledge for the new millennium. Advances in Nursing Science, 21(4), 81-91.
  • *Meininger, J. C., Liehr P., Mueller, W. H., Chan, W., & Chandler, P. S. (1998). Predictors of ambulatory blood pressure: Identification of high risk adolescents. Advances in Nursing Science, 20(3), 50-65.
  • *Mueller, W. H., Meininger, J., Liehr, P., Chandler, P. S., & Chan, W. (1998). Adolescent blood pressure and anger and hostility: Possible links with body fat. Annals of Human Biology, 25, 295-307.
  • *Liehr, P., Meininger, J. C., Mueller, W., Chandler, S. P., & Chan, W. (1997). Blood pressure reactivity in urban youth during angry and normal talking. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 11(4), 85-94.
  • Liehr, P., Vogler, R., & Meininger, J. C. (1997). Guidelines for selecting outcome measures: Lifestyle modification for stage 1 hypertension. Advanced Practice Nursing Quarterly, 3(2), 10-18.
  • *Lewis, P., Nichols, E., Sloane, L., Fadol, A., Mackey, G., Villagomez, E., & Liehr, P. (1997). The effects of position change in SVO2 in critically ill patients. American Journal of Critical Care, 6(2), 132-140.
  • *Mueller, W. H., Meininger, J. C., Liehr, P., Chan, W., & Chandler, P. S. (1996). Demographic moderation of biological variables: Lessons from a pilot program of anger and blood pressure. Revista di Antropologia (Roma), 74, 139-146.
  • *Mueller, W. H., Meininger, J. C., Liehr, P., Chan, W., & Chandler, S. (1996). Conicity: A new index of body fat distribution: What does it tell us? American Journal of Human Biology, 8, 489-496.
  • Weeks, L., Starck, P., Liehr, P., & La Fontaine, K. (1996). Graduate nursing education: What are the benefits and costs to the hospitals. Journal of Nursing Administration, 26(2), 20-30.
  • *Cardwell, G., Moody, C., & Liehr, P. (1995). Saphenous incision healing: The effects of intraoperative manual descending compressions and contributing factors. AORN Journal, 62, 913-923.
  • *Axton, S., Bertrand, S., Smith, L., Dy, E., & Liehr, P. (1995). Comparison of brachial and calf blood pressures in infants. Pediatric Nursing, 21(4), 323-326.
  • *Liehr, P., Dedo, Y., Torres, S., & Meininger, J. (1995). Assessing agreement between clinical measurement methods. Heart and Lung, 24(3), 240-245.
  • Thomas, S., & Liehr, P. (1995). Cardiovascular reactivity to verbal communication: An emerging risk factor. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 9(2), 1-11.
  • Liehr, P., & Weeks, L. (1995). How to support a hospital-based model for nursing research mentorship. Aspen Advisor for Nurse Executives, 10(4), 4-5.
  • Liehr, P., & Houston, S. (1993). Critiquing and using nursing research: guidelines for the critical care nurse. American Journal of Critical Care, 2(5), 407-412.
  • Thomas, S. A., Liehr, P., Friedmann, E., & DeKayser, F. (1993). Nursing blood pressure research, 1980 to 1990: A bio-psycho-social perspective. Image: Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 25(2), 157-164.
  • Liehr, P. (1992). Prelude to research. Nursing Science Quarterly, 5(3), 102-103.
  • *Liehr, P. (1992). Uncovering a hidden language: The effects of listening and talking on blood pressure and heart rate. Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, 6(5), 306-311.
  • *Simmons, M., Phillips, P., Doctor, U., & Liehr, P. (1992). The effect of two intraoperative heat-conserving methods on orthopedic patients receiving regional and general anesthesia. Journal of Post Anesthesia Nursing, 7(3), 170-175.
  • *Liehr, P., Todd, B., Rossi, M., & Culligan, M. (1991). The effect of venous support on edema and leg pain in patients after coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Heart and Lung, 21(1), 6-11.
  • Culligan, M., Todd, B., & Liehr, P. (1990). Preventing graft complications on CABG patients. Nursing 90, 20(6), 59-61.
  • Liehr, P. (1989). 262/144(A blood pressure alert). Office Nurse, 2(5), 10-11.
  • Mull, R., & Liehr, P. (1989). Detecting heart transplant rejection. Nursing 89, 19(6), 88.
  • Liehr, P. (1989). The core of true presence: A loving center. Nursing Science Quarterly, 2(1), 5-6.
  • Liehr, P. (1988). Review of the book Anger and hostility in cardiovascular and behavioral disorders, M. Chesney & R. Rosenman (Eds.). The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 176(3), 193-194.


  • *Songwathana, P. & Liehr, P. (2015). Approaches for moving beyond abrupt widowhood: A case analysis with one Muslim Thai woman. Archives in Psychiatric Nursing, In press.
  • Smith, MJ. & Liehr, P. (2012). Concept building: Appling rigor to conceptualize phenomena for nursing research. Applied Nursing Research, 25, 65-67.
  • Liehr, P. & Takahashi, R. (2012). Reflections and lessons about international team building for research. Archives in Psychiatric Nursing, 26(5), 430-431.
  • Liehr, P. & Smith, M.J. (2011). Refining story inquiry as a method for research. Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, 25(1), 74-75.
  • *Liehr, P., & Diaz, N. (2010). A pilot study examining the effect of mindfulness on depression and anxiety for minority children. Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, 24(1), 69-71.
  • Liehr, P., & Smith, M.J. (2009). A convergence of formative events to guide mental health nursing research. Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, 23(1), 86-88.
  • Smith, M.J., & Liehr, P. (2008). Theory-guided translation: emphasizing human connection. Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, 22(3), 175-176.
  • Liehr, P., & Smith, M. J. A neomodernist perspective for researching chronicity. Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, 21(6), 345-346.
  • Liehr, P., & Smith, M.J. (2007). Story inquiry: A method for research. Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, 21(2), 120-121.
  • Takahashi, R., & Liehr, P. (2004). His-story as a dimension of the present. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 52, 1594-1595.
  • Liehr, P., & Takahashi, R. (2000). Initiating a dialogue based on Patricia R. Underwood's manuscript: Universal problems - cultural solutions. Journal of Japan Academy of Nursing Science, 20(2), 55-57.
  • Liehr, P. (1996). So you would like to do some research? Lessons from a pilot study. The Heart of Texas, The Texas Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Newsletter, 7(1), 6-7.
  • Liehr, P. (1996). Research subjects as collaborators: Tips for acquiring informed consent. The Heart of Texas, The Texas Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Newsletter, 7(3), 6-7.
  • Liehr, P. (1996). Identifying a research question from everyday work experience: Is a qualitative or quantitative approach required? The Heart of Texas, The Texas Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Newsletter, 7(4), 6-7.


  • Selected as a Robert Wood Johnson Scholar, 1987 - 1989
  • Outstanding Nurse, Nursing Celebration 94, Texas Nurses Association, 1994
  • Visiting Scholar, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology, annually from 1997 to present
  • Professional Development Leave Award, University of Texas, Health Science Center at Houston, July - December, 2000
  • Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching, University of Texas, Houston Health Science Center, School of Nursing
  • An American Journal of Nursing book of the year recipient for Middle Range Theory for Nursing, in the research category, 2003 (first edition); 2009 (second edition).
  • Selected as one of the Great 100 Nurses for the Florida Nurses Association Centennial Celebration in the area of role model, September, 2009.
  • Selected as the Palm Healthcare and Palm Beach Post Nurse of the Year, 2012