Conceptual Theoretical Empirical Structure and Nursing Knowledge Discussion

Discuss the components of the Conceptual-Theoretical-Empirical structure and how it supports the development of nursing knowledge. Provide references.

Identify the C-T-E structure in the following two articles:

file:///C:/Users/amand_000/Downloads/Sherman%20et%20al.%20article%20on%20Adjustment%20to%20Breast%20Cancer.pdf

file:///C:/Users/amand_000/Downloads/Willingness%20to%20Care%20for%20AIDS%20Patients.pdf

THE CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK IS THE OVERALL FRAMEWORK/GRAND THEORY/MODEL (MAY BE TERMS USED SYNONOMOUSLY) WHICH IS MORE ABSTRACT AND FROM WHICH IS DEVELOPED THE MIDDLE RANGE THEORY. THE MIDDLE RANGE THEORY IS GIVEN A NAME RELATED TO THE CLINICAL PROBLEM/PHENONEMA OF INTEREST AND IDENTIFIES THE CONCEPTS/VARIABLES THAT WILL BE EXAMINED STATISTICALLY. THE CONCEPTS/VARIABLES WILL BE MEASURED BY INSTRUMENTS THAT ARE OTHERWISE KNOWN AS EMPIRICAL INDICATIORS. MAKE SURE TO IDENTIFY THE PRIMARY AUTHOR OF THE INSTRUMENTS–NEED A REFERENCE FOR EACH INSTRUMENT WITH A DATE.

DO NOT MIX UP THE CF AND THEORY (MIDDLE RANGE SPECIFIC TO THE CLINICAL ISSUE)

Article 1:

    • Conceptual Framework:
    • Theory:
    • Empirical Indicators (Instruments to Measure the Concepts):

Article 2:

    • Conceptual Framework:
    • Theory:
    • Empirical Indicators (Instruments to Measure the Concepts):

      Discussion of the Conceptual Framework (C): In nursing, we use nursing conceptual frameworks, otherwise known theoretical frameworks, or grand theories, to explain phenomena of interest. Conceptual frameworks are used to guide the research process of a study. They can also be used to direct nursing care in practice. Conceptual frameworks (C) are abstract so that they can address many phenomena of interest in nursing. However, each nursing conceptual framework offers a different perspective on the metaparadigm concepts of person, environment, health and nursing. Remember you thought about these concepts when you wrote about your philosophy of nursing. For example, Roger’s Science of Unitary Human Beings, views human beings as energy fields in mutual and continuous interaction with the environment which is also described as an energy field. In other nursing conceptual frameworks, such as Roy’s Adaptation Model, humans are seen more like machines and health is adapting or adjusting to changes in the environment. Again, each conceptual framework has major concepts but it is at a level that is relatively abstract which can not be tested.This is why the conceptual framework then needs to inform a theory, often called a middle range theory, which can be tested using statistical tests if it is a quantitative study. Conceptual frameworks have been developed by nurse theorists or at times, nurse researchers may use conceptual frameworks or grand theories developed by other health scientists. A nurse researcher may even decide to use one or more conceptual framework on which to develop a middle range theory for their study. This is known as developing an “Extant Conceptual Framework.”

    • Discussion of Theory (T): Researchers may study some of the concepts in relation to others within the conceptual framework. To bring the concepts down from an abstract or theoretical level, researchers propose the relationship of one concept to another which are called propositions of a theory. When conducting a quantitative study, the propositions are each identified and are called the study hypotheses. The concepts within a hypothesis have to be measurable in order to test the hypothesis statistically. The theory or middle range theory may or may not be given a name by the researcher but is identifiable because of the concepts being proposed in the hypotheses of the study.
    • Discussion of Empirical Indicators (E): In quantitative research, the concepts (called variables in research), have to been quantifiable and measurable, in other words have a numeric value. Remember from Carper’s Ways of Knowing that empirical knowledge is observable and measurable. For example, Hg and HCT lab values measure the concept of “Blood Oxygenation.” An empirical indicator measures the concepts of a study and is referred to as the instrument. Sometimes, you will hear of an instrument also being referred to as a scale or measure. So in the C-T-E structure you identify the instrument used by the researcher to measure a concept/variable of the study.

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