Judy Labonte


The increasing life span of people within the developed world may produce major health problems for the elder. These health problems lead to premature declines in function and cognition. Many healthcare professionals do not recognize these declines until the need for institutionalized care is urgent. Research has demonstrated that healthcare professionals either fail to recognize or address these declines, contributing to poor outcomes for the elder and the exponential rise in healthcare expenses o f the Medicare and Medicaid funds. This exploratory, descriptive study was designed to examine the level of assessment by primary care family nurse practitioners (FNPs) for the state of thriving among community-based elders. The theoretical framework for this research was based on the Thriving Model: A Life Span theory developed by nurse researchers out of the University o f North Carolina at Greensboro (Haight et al., 2002). The research question that guided this study was as follows: To what level do primary care family nurse practitioners assess for the state of thriving among community-based elders? The setting for this study was a southeastern state. A sample o f 150 family nurse practitioners were surveyed using a researcher-designed tool, titled the LaBonte Questionnaire. The surveyed FNPs adequately assessed for routine primary care assessment such as laboratory data and review of immunizations. However, the data analysis revealed that the majority of primary care FNPs failed to adequately assess community-based elders 111 for the state of thriving as it related to activities o f daily living and at-risk assessments, such as depression screening. Numerous implications for nursing practice, education, research, and administration were created by this study. Further research utilizing this new theory of thriving was recommended to further develop and define the critical concepts o f thriving as it relates to the community-based elder.


Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


Graduate Nursing

Degree Date


Publication Number


First Advisor

Dr. Lynn Chilton

Document Type


Included in

Nursing Commons