Patricia Liehr

Patricia Liehr

Schmidt Family Foundation Distinguished Professor
Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing

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A Lifelong Journey of Moving Beyond Wartime Trauma for Survivors From Hiroshima and Pearl Harbor (2011)

Current Research – For nearly two decades, I have been collaborating on research with colleagues in Japan. In our original work, we studied blood pressure changes while Japanese elders who had a stroke talked about their health. We were struck by the frequency with which they introduced the bombings of World War II, either the fire bombings of Tokyo or the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The spirit of their conversation suggested that they could live through anything after living through the bombings. We took their thoughts very seriously and decided to study the experience of health for people from Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima, allowing us to pursue bridge-building for two populations whose countries aggressed toward each other during World War II. From the beginning, we knew that we wanted to produce a creative product that would share what we learned with people who would never read a professional journal. There are two manuscripts in professional journals (Takahashi, Nishimura, Ito, Wands, Kanata & Liehr, 2009; Liehr, Nishimura, Ito, Wands & Takahashi, 2011) documenting findings from the study, which included the stories of 51 participants from Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima. With Their Voices Raised is a documentary theatre performance that has been created by Katy Morris from the research data. The performance was done twice in 2012 at the FAU theatre (11/11/12) and the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens (12/6/12) and once in 2013 at Miami Dade College (11/13/13). We have one manuscript that documents the audience response to the performance (Liehr, Morris, Leavitt & Takahashi, 2013) in an issue of Advances in Nursing Science focused on peace. This manuscript was selected by the journal editor for a blog discussion about the topic of peace.