Skip to content

An Analysis and Evaluation of the Theory of Planned Behavior Using Fawcett and DeSanto-Madeya’s Framework


The current featured ANS article is titled “An Analysis and Evaluation of the Theory of Planned Behavior Using Fawcett and DeSanto-Madeya’s Framework” authored by Sungwon Park, MSN, RN and Hyewon Shin, PhD, RN. Download your free copy of this manuscript while it is featured and share your comments here! Sungwon Park shared this message about this work for ANS readers:

Sungwon Park

The Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) originally developed by Ajzen has long been a useful conceptual framework for my research, including my master’s thesis study and my projects early in my doctoral program. During the first year of my PhD program, I decided to analyze and evaluate this theory in a nursing theory class, and with the assistance of a colleague, I eventually developed this assignment into a publication in ANS.

Despite my generally positive evaluation of the TPB, I acknowledge that its use in nursing research and practice has been somewhat controversial, depending on individual researchers’ perspectives. I remember that I was excited to discuss how theory could advance nursing in my class, but theory testing as well as application of theories borrowed from other disciplines were debated among my classmates in 2019. At that time, I agreed that use of a borrowed theory can be beneficial for capturing nursing phenomena and for contributing to the development of nursing.

To comprehensively analyze a nursing theory, the author’s intentions in disseminating the theory need to be systematically examined, as do later theory revisions. Our manuscript analyzed and evaluated the TPB, which originated in the social psychology field, using Fawcett and DeSanto-Madeya’s framework, which was intended to be applied to nursing theory. A theory borrowed from another discipline will not fully reflect the values and concerns of nursing. However, rather than simply dismissing theories such as the TPB from consideration for the nursing discipline, I contend that different criteria should be employed for evaluation of borrowed theories.

In our case, we could not fully apply some of the elements of Fawcett and DeSanto-Madeya’s framework in our paper. For example, the TPB does not fully incorporate the nursing metaparadigm or include philosophical statements about nursing. Consequently, our paper recommended consideration of additional criteria for evaluation of borrowed theories. I believe that among other potential benefits, use of borrowed theories in nursing raises important questions such as “what are nursing phenomena?” and “what is the definition of nursing?”

I favor the definition of holistic nursing care, and a prerequisite for holistic care is to understand the human being and everything that surrounds the human experience. Consequently, describing the scope of holistic care is extremely challenging, but the new perspectives offered by a borrowed theory can facilitate understanding of such care.

Considering that all efforts from theory development and testing to application in various practice situations contribute to the advancement of nursing, what is your opinion of using the TPB for nursing advancement?

No comments yet

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: