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Posts tagged ‘situation-specific theory’

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!


Nursing perspectives on culture and health

The article now featured in our “Editor’s Picks”by Martha Baird illustrates perfectly, to me, many of the features that characterize nursing perspectives.  The article, titled “Well-being in Refugee Women Experiencing Cultural Transition,” recounts two research studies that Dr. Baird conducted.  These studies provided evidence from which she developed a situation-specific theory of wellness among South Sudanese refugees in her community.  The concepts that stand out as specific concerns for nursing include culture, wellness, transition, family, relationships and health.  Here Dr. Baird describes the experience of this research, and the South Sudanese family who helped make her work possible:

The research that led to the Theory of Well-being in Refugee Women in Cultural Transition would not have been possible without the help and guidance of Rebecca Mabior and John Akuei, my friends, translators, and interpreters. They have not only served as culture brokers between the South Sudanese community and myself, but have become part of our extended family.

John and Rebecca came to the US in 2001 as refugees. John was one of the Lost Boys of Sudan from the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya. Rebecca came from Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, where she was practicing as a registered nurse. She and John met in the US, married, and have three children Atem 8 years, and Akon and Akuei, 3 year-old twins (see family picture). Their families still live in South Sudan and have never met their three children. Since South Sudan became a separate nation on July 9, 2011, they are able to visit their homeland for the first time in over 10 years. Next year, their oldest son, Atem will meet his grandparents for the very first time.

Working with the Sudanese refugee community on these two research projects has taught me the importance of long-term and sustainable relationships with the communities we are serving and hoping to effect positive health change.

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