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:
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
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!