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Posts tagged ‘Eun-Ok Im’

Theory Development Process of Situation-Specific Theories

The current ANS featured article is titled “Theory Development Process of Situation-Specific Theories” authored by Eun-Ok Im, PhD, MPH, RN, CNS, FAAN. In this article, Dr. Im described the development processes used in fifteen situation-specific theories published in refereed journals. This article is available at no cost whiled it is featured, and we encourage you to take advantage of its availability! Dr. Im shared her reflections about her work in this message:

Since my first article on situation-specific theories was published in Advances in Nursing Science in 1999, my thoughts on situation specific theories have grown. I have started this year with an unusual excitement because of the upcoming first book on situation-specific theories from Springer Nature that I have worked on with Dr. Afaf Meleis. The book is a collection of the works by many theorists who gave their thoughts on and have developed and used their own situation-specific theories. On this blog, I am including a picture of little red fruits on a tree that I found in Atlanta, GA this winter (American Holly tree?) in order to illustrate my feelings about all the theoretical works related to situation specific theories that we have done. A collection of our little pretty fruits that we produced despite all the challenges!!!

While working on the first book on situation specific theories, I became to wonder what theoretical development process had been used in the actual development of situation-specific theories. During the same time period, I was invited to several international conferences/workshops/seminars related to theory development, and many of them asked me to give presentations on theory development process of situation-specific theories. Also, over the past several years, I have been asked by PhD students on how they could develop their own situation specific theories through their PhD dissertation works.  When I published the article on the integrative approach to situation-specific theories in 2005, I thought I gave clear guidance for theory development process of situation specific theories. However, many junior and senior scholars were wondering how situation-specific theories had been actually developed during the past two decades.  Because of these inquiries by many nursing scholars and PhD students, this paper was initiated.

While working on the paper, I was very glad to find that I was right about the theory development process of situation specific theories that I proposed in 2005.  For instance, all the situation-specific theories that were reviewed were developed through various combinations of induction and deduction using unique theory development strategies. The situation-specific theories were developed using multiple sources of theorizing (including multiple theories and multiple research studies) in various, but no homogenous steps.  I thought these findings were reasonable and natural considering the high specificity and diversity that situation-specific theories are supposed to provide and respect. 

I also had an interesting finding that situation-specific theories were developed from all types of theories including grand theories, middle-range theories, and situation-specific theories.  Considering the lowest level of abstraction in situation-specific theories, the derivation of situation-specific theories from grand theories and middle-range theories was recommended by many scholars, but situation-specific theories were actually developed based on all types of theories/theoretical works. Considering the characteristics of situation-specific theories (e.g., respecting diversity and contextuality, direct linkages to research and practice), it would be understandable to see the derivation of situation-specific theories from all types of theories and theoretical works.

Based on the expected and unexpected findings on theory development process of situation-specific theories, I made several suggestions for future theoretical development of situation-specific theories in this paper.  Especially, I thought it would be essential and important for future theorists to be creative and innovative in their theoretical efforts to develop situation-specific theories. All situation-specific theories were developed in their own unique ways that would fit with the specific populations and particular nursing situations that they aimed to describe, explain and predict. Without openness to new and creative methods, it would be difficult for theorists to develop situation-specific theories that could exactly fit with their unique populations and nursing situations.  

Especially when considering all the evolutions and revolutions that nursing discipline might need to go through with new changes in nursing environments (e.g., COVID19 pandemic), the openness would be a key to success in our future theoretical journeys. Indeed, with the start of COVID19, health care systems went through drastic changes including the rapid adoption of telemedicine and telehealth. With the changes, nursing situations became to involve telenursing procedures in many aspects of practice, and nurses have been on the frontline of health systems to take care of COVID19 patients through both in-person and non-in-person encounters. Are we ready to provide theoretical lenses that could support all these changes in nursing practice and care?  What if robots began to replace some components of nursing care? Maybe, these would not be necessary worries and concerns at this moment, but we never expected the COVID19 as well. 

Again, many thanks to Dr. Chinn to provide me with this great opportunity to dialogue with my respected colleagues; I missed our dialogues during this pandemic while staying at my little place. Hope this blog could initiate some fruitful discussion on situation-specific theories.  Also, to conclude this blog, I want to mention that this is the year of Golden Cow, White Ox, or Metal Bull in Asian culture, which will bring good fortune to all of us.  With the new good luck, I hope the COVID19 pandemic would disappear and we could get together soon.  

Best wishes for all of us.

Eun-Ok Im

Theory Development Strategies for Middle Range Theories

The current featured article in ANS provides an analysis of methods used for development of middle-range theories over the past decade, titled “Theory Development Strategies for Middle-Range Theories” by Eun-Ok Im, PhD, MPH, RN, CNS, FAAN. Download the article at no cost while it is featured!  Here Dr. Im describes the background of this work:

First of all, I want to say that it is my great honor to have another paper published in Advances in Nursing Science.  Advances in Nursing Science has

Eun-Ok Im

been my number one journal in learning, developing, and disseminating my theoretical works throughout my career. I really appreciate all the works in Advances in Nursing Science that have been the insights for all my theoretical works.

This summer, I was in Australia, “the land down under.” They were having a winter while it was an obvious hot summer in North Carolina where my home was (please enjoy the below pictures from Australia; Koala was sleeping while showing only their back, and the winter beach had lots of rain and winds). Their cars were driven on the opposite direction; drivers were sitting on the right side and cars were going on the opposite lanes. So, I needed to think from the opposite side even when crossing the streets. Likewise, this paper started from the opposite side of a meta-theorist (that I personally identify myself); what students would want to know about middle range theories.

This paper was initiated because of my PhD students who asked me about theory development strategies that had been used in development of middle range theories.  I had a class on middle range theories versus situation specific theories. Unlike situation specific theories whose development methods were clearly proposed in the literature, the theory development methods used for middle range theories were not clear in the literature, and the students were asking what had been recently used in development of middle range theories and how they could develop their own middle range theories. Unfortunately, I could not articulate a clear answer for their questions although I knew about several strategies that had been proposed and used to develop middle range theories in the literature. I didn’t have any idea on how middle range theories have been developed in recent years. That was the start point of this paper. From a student’s perspective, I myself wanted to know how middle range theories had been developed during the past 10 years.

Although the task of conducting a systematic integrated literature review was extensive, I need to admit that this literature review did not include the middle range theories that had been developed before 10 years ago. Thus, many of the famous and widely used middle ranges theories are missing in this review. I just wanted to see the currently used theory development strategies in the past 10 years so that I could see the current trends and provide directions for future development. Another point that I need to admit was: there was no in-depth investigations on the philosophical and methodological aspects of the middle range theories in this paper because many of the articles on middle range theories that were reviewed did not specify their philosophical and methodological bases of theory development; many of them were confused even on the types of theories that they developed.

Despite these limitations, it was obvious that middle range theories became an essential part of theoretical bases in nursing, and I can see their steady and continuous development during the past decade. At the same time, I can see the necessity of further development of middle range theories in their philosophical and methodological bases. Hope this article could give an understanding on what is happening in development of middle range theories and hope this could give some insights to future theorists as I got my insights from the theoretical works that have been published in Advances in Nursing Science.

Best luck to all of us during this hot summer~  Or, cold winter (for many of us)~

From Eun-Ok Im, in Summer, 2018 in the U.S.




Focus on transitions from a nursing perspective

Eun-Ok Im, PhD, MPH, RN, CNS, FAAN is the author of our latest featured article titled “Situation-Specific Theories From the Middle-Range Transitions Theory.”  She begins her article is a concise overview of nursing’s theoretical evolution, placing the emergence of situation-specific theory in an historical context.  Dr. Im and Dr. Afaf Meleis first introduced the concept of situation-specific theory in their 1999 ANS article titled “Situation-specific theories: philosophical roots, properties, and approach” (ANS 22:2, p 11-24).  This current article provides, in addition to the historical overview, an analysis of 6 situation-specific theories and themes reflecting commonalities and variances in the theory development process.  Dr. Im shared this message about her work:

As you can see in the picture, we had lots of snow here in Philly, and hope all of you would stay warm and safe!  🙂snow

First of all, thanks a million for this opportunity to discuss my article with my respectable colleagues and students.  This article was originally initiated because of doctoral students in my theory class in Spring, 2013.  The students wanted to know about how a situation specific theory could be developed from a middle-range theory.  Although I previously wrote about the integrative approach to development of situation specific theories, the paper might not be adequate to address the students’ questions. The students were eager to learn about the exact theory development process that had been taken in previous development of situation specific theories. Also, since our original paper on situation specific theories was written in 1999, I thought this might be the right time to evaluate how situation specific theories have been developed.  Especially, I was wondering how situation specific theories were derived from middle range theories and further developed as “ready-to-wear” theories.

As the article illustrates, the development of situation specific theories from the middle-range Transitions theory were on the same directions that were originally proposed, and I could extract several themes reflecting the commonalities and differences in the theory development process.  The reviewed situation specific theories derived from Transitions theory focused on specific phenomenon of interests with narrow foci and provided clear implications for nursing practice. They were developed using multiple sources of theorizing, but mainly based on research-evidence. They

Dr. Eun-Ok Im

Dr. Eun-Ok Im

specified, added and combined major concepts and/or sub-concepts, and they had been developed to advance nursing theory toward forms of theory applicable to specific practice situations.

In the article, based on these findings, I proposed two implications for future development of situation specific theories: (a) to continue our efforts to further develop, specify, and modify the concepts and sub-concepts of situation specific theories through “integrative approaches”; and (b) to support the situation specific theories with strong collective evidence from nursing practice and apply and evaluate the situation specific theories in practice settings. From this stance, I would like to work on further recommendations for future development of situation specific theories.

Through this blog, I hope to open a conversation on the directions for future development of situation specific theories, which would be essential for future nursing knowledge development. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

I join Dr. Im in encouraging you to respond to her article, and participate in a conversation here about these ideas!  This kind of conversation is vital for the future development of our discipline!  You can download your copy of her article while it is featured at no cost, so read it today, and come back here to join the conversation!


Practical Guidelines for Feminist Research

The current “Editor’s Pick” article is by Eun-Ok Im, PhD, MPH, RN, CNS, FAAN, who has published a number of articles that focus on feminism and nursing.  As a feminist scholar in nursing, she is well qualified to offer to the discipline her article titled “Practical Guidelines for Feminist Research in Nursing.”  Dr. Im provided this message, and an invitation for readers to engage in discussion of this article with her on this blog!

First of all, thanks a million to you, Dr. Chinn, editor of  ANS!!!  Thanks for choosing my article as the “Editor’s Picks” so that I could have scholarly discussion with all my respectable colleagues throughout the world.

To explain the background of the article…  The article was motivated by questions from my own doctoral students.  In my doctoral classes, I have frequently been asked about “how to conduct” a feminist study.  As all of us would agree, there is no one way to conduct a feminist study, but the students were eager to hearN753-April-2013 about my previous experience in feminist studies and some advice for their future feminist studies. That was the start point when I re-collected all my previous research notes from three feminist studies that I had conducted and re-analyzed to identify what would be essential components in feminist research.

Through the process, I have extracted a total of 10 idea categories, and I have proposed guidelines for these idea categories. Yet, these guidelines would not be new to feminist scholars/researchers who have been conducting feminist research. Rather, these are the ones that feminist scholars/researchers have taken for granted. However, for our novice feminist scholars/researchers, these kinds of explicit guidelines would be helpful (my hope!!!).

As noted in the article, there are several major limitations of the article.  I simply took a pragmatic approach to provide tangible guidance for feminist research. Also, the guidelines are from only three Internet-based studies with limitations in generalizability.

Anyway, I think we could further develop the guidelines for our future generation through our future collective efforts.  So, please feel free to add absent components that you found in your studies.  Thanks for all your attention to this article and thanks again to Dr. Chinn for this opportunity to dialogue with other scholars!

I invite you to download your copy of this article now at no cost, and engage in this dialogue!

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