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The purpose of this study was to identify the relationship between the number and quality of nursing diagnoses generated by public health nurses (PHNs), and the use of different assessment databases (nursing or medical) In addition, the effect of experience with theory-based nursing practice on the number and quality of the diagnoses was examined A convenience sample of 37 PHNs employed in two county health units provided the subjects for this study One agency had implemented theory-based nursing practice, the other had not Analysis of the results revealed that use of a nursing database significantly affected the number of diagnoses generated by PHNs However, the database type did not significantly affect the quality of the diagnoses PHNs' experience with theory-based practice had no significant effect on the number or quality of nursing diagnoses generated by PHNs, irrespective of database