ELEMENTS, APPROACHES AND STRATEGIES OF THEORY DEVELOPMENT
Basic Elements In Theory Building
Relationship among THEORY, RESEARCH and PRACTICE
* Relationship between THEORY and RESEARCH
Research validates and modifies theory.
* Relationship between THEORY and PRACTICE
Theory guides practice.
* Relationship between RESEARCH and PRACTICE
Research is the key to the development of a discipline.
Approaches To Theory Development
* Theory – Practice – Theory
An existing theory (non-nursing) that can help describe and explain a phenomenon, but the theory is not complete or not completely developed for nursing.
* Practice – Theory
Existing theories are not useful in describing the phenomenon of interest; theory is derived from clinical situations.
* Research – Theory
Development of theory is based on research; theories evolve from replicated and confirmed research findings.
* Theory – Research Theory
Theory drives the research questions, the result of the research informs and modifies the theory. Concept Development
Term that refers to phenomena that occur in nature or in thought
TYPES OF CONCEPT
* ABSTRACT – not clearly observable
* CONCRETE – directly observable
Abstract Concept| Concrete Concept|
Social System| Nurse – patient – family – caregiver | Telemetry| Electrocardiogram / Holter Monitor|
* VARIABLE / CONTINUOUS – permits classification of dimension of a phenomena * NON-VARIABLE / DISCRETE – identifies categories or classes of characteristics
* THEORETICAL – gives meaning to a term in context of a theory and permits any reader to assess validity of the definition. * OPERATIONAL – tells how the concept is linked to concrete situations and describes a set of procedures that will be performed to assign a value for the concept.
Concept| Theoretical Definition| Operational Definition| Body Temperature| Homeothermic range of one’s internal environment maintained by the thermoregulatory system of the human body| Degree of temperature measured by the rectal thermometer taken for one minute| Heart Failure| Inadequate cardiac function to meet circulatory demands| Stage of heart failure measured by the NYHA classification|
Concept Analysis / Concept Development
Rigorous process of bringing clarity to the definition of the concept used in science
Purpose of Concept Development
* Clarifying, recognizing and defining concepts that describe the phenomena
Components of a Theory
2. Concepts and Conceptual Definition
3. Theoretical Statements
4. Structures and Linkages
THEORY ANALYSIS AND EVALUATION
Definition and Purpose of Theory Evaluation
Process of systematically examining a theory
Criteria for Theory Evaluation
Examination of the theory’s:
* Logical Adequacy
Ultimate Goal of Theory Evaluation
Determine the potential contribution of the theory to scientific knowledge.
Process of Theory Evaluation
* Theory Description – initial step in the evaluation process; the works of a theorist are reviewed, with a focus on the historical context of the theory.
* Theory Analysis – second phase of evaluation process; systematic process of objectively examining the content, structure and function of a theory.
* Theory Evaluation / Theory Critique – final step of the process; assesses the theory’s potential contribution to the discipline’s knowledge base.
Analysis Criteria for Grand Nursing Theories
* Background of the Theorist
A review of the background of the theorist is likely to reveal the foundations of the theorist’s ideas. * Philosophical Underpinnings of the...