Nursing theories have long been considered essential tools in attaining better patient outcomes through evidence-based methods. These theories are primarily developed and formulated during practice (McKenna et al., 2014). In fact, the science of nursing is a combination of ideas and research in this field (McKenna et al., 2014). One such hypothesis, Watson’s theory of human caring, can be tested through integrative research and clinical practice guidelines.
Theory, research, and practice are interrelated concepts that clinicians should use to achieve superior patient outcomes. Research can be qualitative and quantitative, depending on the final objectives of a study. An integrative review, which requires question selection, sampling studies for review, representing study characteristics, analyzing and interpreting results, and reporting outcomes, can be used to test theories (Da Silva et al., 2020). Nursing theory can be defined as “a body of knowledge that describes, explains, or predicts phenomena from practice and that gives nursing professional meaning and relevance” (McKenna et al., 2014, p. 12). For example, Jean Watson’s theory of human caring is still prevalent in the U.S. and some European countries (McKenna et al., 2014). Furthermore, the 2018 PADIS (pain, agitation/sedation, delirium, immobility, and sleep disruption) guideline can be used as an example of a clinical standard that implements the principles of this theory (Devlin et al., 2018). The PADIS guideline and Watson’s theory can help minimize suffering in patients with pain, sleep problems, or psychiatric issues through expressing empathy and compassion. Integrative research should be used to prove that a caring attitude facilitates recovery.
In summary, nursing theory, research, and practice are three intertwined terms. Although Watson’s theory of human caring is popular worldwide, contemporary research does not mention using this concept to reduce pain and emotional suffering in patients. Still, the absence of this aspect should not prevent clinical practice improvement. Therefore, it is crucial to group recommendations related to a particular nursing philosophy to have a complete picture of education, science, and practice correlation.
Da Silva, R. N., Brandao, M. A. G., & Ferreira, M. D. A. (2020). Integrative review as a method to generate or to test nursing theory. Nursing Science Quarterly, 33(3), 258-263.
Devlin, J. W., Skrobik, Y., Gélinas, C., Needham, D. M., Slooter, A. J., Pandharipande, P. P., Watson, P. L., Weinhouse, G., Nunnally, M. E., Rochwerg, B., Balas, M., van den Boogaard, M., Bosma, K. J., Brummel, N. E., Changues, G., Denehy, L., Drouot, X., Fraser, G. L., Harris, J. E., Aaron M., Kho, M. E., Kress, J. P., Lanphere, J. A., McKinley, S., Neufeld, K. J., Pisani, M. A., Payen, J. F., Pun, B. T., Puntillo, K. A., Riker, R. R., Robinson, B. R. H., Shehabi, Y., Szumita, P. M., Winkelman, C., Centofanti, J. E., Price, C., Nikayin, S., Misak, C. J., Flood, P. D., Kiedrowski, K., & Alhazzani, W. (2018). Clinical practice guidelines for the prevention and management of pain, agitation/sedation, delirium, immobility, and sleep disruption in adult patients in the ICU. Critical Care Medicine, 46(9), 825-873.
McKenna, H., Pajnkihar, M., & Murphy, F. (2014). Fundamentals of nursing models, theories, and practice. John Wiley & Sons.