Peplau's Theory

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Peplau (1969) suggested that nurses need to become aware of themselves, their personal needs and their personal reactions, in order to help patients to meet their own needs. Nurses must develop the skill of attaining professional closeness, an attribute only learned through professional

Some limitations of Peplau's theory include the lack of emphasis on health promotion and maintenance; that intra-family dynamics, personal space considerations, and community social service resources are less considered; it can't be used on a patient who is unable to express a need; and some areas are not specific enough to generate a hypothesis.

Her 1952 book, Interpersonal Relations in Nursing, Dr. Peplau outlines her conceptual structure for psychodynamic nursing. This book was the first published nursing theory since Florence Nightingale’s 1860 concept. The basis for her work was her personal and clinical experience. She worked during the great influenza epidemic, which helped her to understand the “influence of illness and death on individuals and families” (Tomay and Alligood, 2002, p.380). Her theory focuses on the interpersonal development and the therapeutic relationship that develops between the nurse and the patient, unlike many theories that put the attention solely on the client. This nurse-client relationship becomes the heart of the nursing process. Peplau’s secondary focus is the intrapersonal process of nurse as well as client. Intrapersonal refers to phenomena that occur within an individual (Forchuk,1993, p.45). The nurse not only focuses on the client, he or she also reflects on him or herself. Hilda taught psychodynamic nursing, stressing the significance of the nurse’s capacity to understand his or her own behavior in order to help patients recognize their perceived obstacles (Tomey and Alligood, 2002, p.24). Core Concepts

The core concepts of nursing include: nursing, person, environment, and health. (Forchuk, 1993, p.7) Peplau further defined these...
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