Compare and contrast middle-range theory and practice-specific theory. Discuss the impact the development of these theories has on nursing.
I chose to compare and contrast middle-range theory and practice-specific theory. “Middle-range theories are more concrete and narrower than grand theories; they are made up of a limited number of concepts and propositions that are written at a relatively concrete and specific level. There are three types of middle-range theories. Middle-range descriptive theories are the most basic type of middle-range theory. Each descriptive theory describes or classifies a phenomenon and, therefore, may encompass just one concept. When a middle-range descriptive theory describes a phenomenon, it simply names the commonalities found in discrete observations of individuals, groups, situations, or events. When a middle-range descriptive theory classifies a phenomenon, it categorizes the described commonalities into mutually exclusive, overlapping, hierarchical, or sequential dimensions. A middle-range classification theory may be referred to as a typology or a taxonomy. Middle-range descriptive theories are generated and tested by means of descriptive research, which may be qualitative or quantitative in design. Peplau's theory of interpersonal relations is an example of a middle-range descriptive classification theory. Middle-range explanatory theories specify relations between two or more concepts. Each explanatory theory explains why and the extent to which one concept is related to another concept. Middle-range explanatory theories are generated and tested by means of correlational research, which typically is quantitative in design. Watson's theory of human caring is an example of a middle-range explanatory theory. Middle-range predictive theories move beyond explanation to the prediction of precise relations between concepts or the effects of one or more concepts on one or more other concepts. This type of middle-range theory addresses how changes in a phenomenon occur. Middle-range predictive theories are generated and tested by means of experimental research, which typically is quantitative in design. Orlando's theory of the deliberative nursing process is an example of a middle-range predictive theory” (Fawcett, 2005). Practice-specific theories “claim that knowledge about clients, client problems, and nursing therapeutics is enough to make nursing practice scientific is refuted on the basis that practice theories in nursing must encompass not only theories addressing these aspects but also those dealing with practice issues pertaining to the nurse-agent in action. A comprehensive framework specifying two dimensions of focus for practice theories is proposed to examine different types of practice theories in nursing and it is further used to frame a science of nursing practice as a subset of nursing science at large. Knowledge development for a science of nursing practice is then examined within four possible paradigms founded on different ontological and epistemological views” (Kim, 1994). The impact that these theories have on nursing is that they have become the framework of how well organized the nursing practice has become. A lot has changed within this profession and continues to change as these theories are continued to be used. Nursing care has progressed in many ways making healthcare personnel improve their way of caring for their patients each and every day.
Fawcett, J. (2005, December). Middle range nursing theories are necessary for the advancement of the discipline. Retrieved from http://www.scielo.org.co/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1657-59972005000100004
Kim, H. S. (1994). Practice theories in nursing and a science of nursing practice. Retrieved fromhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7973245