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Classical Theory

An abstract generalization that systematically explains relationships among phenomena.
based on beliefs of researcher between relationship variables.

Descriptive Theory

A theory that thoroughly describes a phenomenon, based on rich observations of it.
characteristics of individuals or groups. Come up with commonalities or generalities.

Grand Theory

A theory that attempts to explain large aspects of human experiences.
Very abstract. Attempt to explain concepts central to nursing. Ex compassion in nursing.

Middle-range Theory

A theory that focuses on a specific aspect of human experience (e.g., stress)
theories we consider to go from abstract to concrete. Very specific. Explain pt's experience. Ex. End of life care

Conceptual Models

Deal with abstractions, assembled in a coherent scheme
Represent a less formal attempt to explain phenomena than theories
Do not have formal propositions about relationships among phenomena
Researcher's understanding about how variables are linked to one another

Framework

brief explanation of a theory or those portions of a theory to be tested in a study.
The overall conceptual underpinnings of a study
Theoretical framework (based on theory)
Conceptual framework (based on a conceptual model)

Theoretical Framework

A theoretical framework can be viewed as the frame of a house, it is the foundation for a research study. A theoretical framework provides a rationale for predictions about the relationships among variables of a research study. It provides a context for examining a problem.
A theoretical framework provides a road map or a frame of reference that is a basis for observations, definitions of concepts, research designs, interpretations and generalizations. It is the theoretical rationale for the development of hypotheses in the study.
A theoretical framework summarizes the existing knowledge in the field of inquiry and identifies linkages among defined concepts, thereby establishing the basis for predicting specific outcomes or generating hypotheses.
A theoretical framework for a research study may be an existing theory such as existing nursing theory or it can be constructed by the researcher from what is known about the relationships among the variables from past research studies.
All research studies must have a theoretical framework.

Scientific Theory

based on scientific inquiry. For ex, how o2 works in the body.

Substantive Theory

found in qualitative studies. Start to build about a certain phenomenon.

Tentative Theory

Begin to build on based on certain propositions

Theory

a set of interrelated concepts, definitions, and propositions that represent a systematic view of phenomena for the purpose of explaining and making predictions about phenomena. The overall purpose of a theory is to make scientific findings meaningful and generalizable. A theory not only guides the what of natural phenomena but also the "why" of this occurrence. A theory is an organizing statement about abstract concepts that gives them meaning in relation to the real world. A theory represents the researcher's "best effort" to explain phenomena.
Characteristics of a theory consists of : 1) set of concepts (abstract characterizations); 2) set of statements or propositions which indicates a relationship; 3) a formation of logically interrelated deductive system. Theories are created by scientists. A theory can never be proven or confirmed but supported since reality is ever changing. Therefore a theory is never finalized but is tentative in nature.
Theory is derived from research; research supports theory. Theory serves as the impetus for research and the findings from research shape the development of theory. Theory can be inductively or deductively created. Theory is developed through qualitative research (inductive reasoning) and tested through quantitative research (deductive reasoning).

Components of Theories

Concepts
Relational statements
-Statements
-Propositions
Map or model

Commonalities—Theories and Conceptual Models

Use concepts as building blocks
Require conceptual definitions of key concepts
Can be represented in a schematic model
Are created by humans
Are developed inductively
Cannot be proven—they are supported to greater or lesser degrees
Can be used to generate hypotheses
Can serve as a stimulus to research

Conceptual Models of Nursing

Formal explanations of what nursing practice is
Four concepts central to models of nursing:
1.Human beings
2.Environment
3.Health
4.Nursing

Conceptual models of nursing that have been used in nursing research include:
Neuman's Health Care Systems Model
Newman's Health as Expanding Consciousness
Orem's Self-Care Deficit Nursing Theory
Parse's Theory of Human Becoming
Rogers' Science of Unitary Human Beings
Roy's Adaptation Model-in order for us to adapt to a situation or disease, we need to have a change in physiologic status and psychosocial status. Adaptation in social roles.

Middle Range Theories

Limited scope
Particular substantive focus
Contains limited number of concepts
Focus on limited aspect of relationship
Sufficiently general to be interesting
Empirically testable
Consolidated into wide-range theories

-Pender's Health Promotion Model (HPM)
-Mishel's Uncertainty in Illness Theory-looking for the meaning of an illness in a person's life. Uncertainty transcends in the ability to be able to deal with the illness.
-Lenz's Theory of Unpleasant Symptoms
-Reed's Self-Transcendence Theory
-Johnson's Self-Regulation Theory

Examples of Non-Nursing Models Used by Nurse Researchers

Shared theories
Bandura's Social Cognitive Theory
Prochaska's Transtheoretical Model
Becker's Health Belief Model (HBM)
Ajzen's Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB)
Lazarus and Folkman's Theory of Stress and Coping

Examles of key constructs from shared theories

Self-efficacy (Social Cognitive Theory)
Stages of change (Transtheoretical Model)
Behavioral intentions (Theory of Planned Behavior)

Theories in Qualitative Resarch

Substantive theory—conceptualizations of the target phenomena
Theory embedded in a research tradition
-Grounded theory (e.g., symbolic interactionism)
-Ethnography (cultural theories: ideational and materialistic)
-Phenomenology (the phenomenological philosophy of human experience)

The Use of Theories or Models in Quantitative Research

Testing a theory through deducing hypothesis to be tested
Testing a theory-based intervention
Using a theory/model as an organizing or interpretive structure
Fitting a problem into theory, after the fact (not recommended)

Select concepts

Based on relevance to phenomenon of concern
Must have a concept for every major variable in study
Examine problem statement for relevant concepts
Include concepts from purpose statement if appropriate

Conceptual Identification and definition

Through
-Concept synthesis
-Concept derivation
-Concept analysis

Sources of Conceptual Definitions

Existing theoretical works
Must be used if proposition from theory being tested
Always desirable when available
Should be directly quoted (if possible) and cited
Published concept analyses
What are the concepts in the Sulkowski et al (2011) study?

Previous studies using the concept
Publications describing instrument development
General literature
Performing a concept analysis

Operationalization

translating downward to more concrete level
Moves from concept to variable to measures

Steps of Operationalization

Identify variables used to represent concepts in framework.
Develop operational definitions for each variable.
Indicates method of measurement or observation
Must be consistent with conceptual definition

Variables

Are at a more concrete level than concepts
Represent only a portion of the concept
Several variables may be used to represent one concept.

Developing Rational Statements

Are at a more concrete level than concepts
Represent only a portion of the concept
Several variables may be used to represent one concept.
Evidence for validity of statement should be provided.
Evidence from published studies
Evidence from published clinical observations

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