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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Mary Ellen Wurzbach, RN, MSN, PhD (University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh)
Description: This nursing theory text is an examination of the conceptual and philosophical ideas behind nursing theories from a transcultural perspective. American, German, and Norwegian authors have contributed.
Purpose: The purpose is to systematically analyze nursing's major theoretical work through its conceptual and philosophical foundations. It is not a survey of the structure and content of nursing theory. The editors hope that the book will be used as a companion to the original theoretical works, for better understanding not only of the theories themselves, but also of essential questions about nursing theory development. These are worthy objectives that are well met.
Audience: The book is designed to assist advanced nursing students to comprehend major theoretical ideas related to theory development and its relationship to nursing practice. The editors and contributors are credible authorities on the philosophical and conceptual foundations of nursing theory.
Features: Ten themes abstracted from nursing theories are examined. Six of the themes are conceptual in focus, such as human needs, adaptation, and human interaction. Three themes are related to the ontological basis of nursing theories; for example, holism, systems, and existential phenomenology. Finally, one theme is the philosophy of nursing as it relates to nursing theory. In addition, theory development is examined from a socio-historical perspective. The unique features of the book are the historical and cross cultural perspectives on the conceptual and philosophical underpinnings of nursing theories. The two chapters on human needs are particularly interesting and well done.
Assessment: This text meets a critical need in nursing theory. As the editors state, it is in the third tier of books about nursing theory. Tiers one and two are the original theoretical works themselves as well as survey books about the analysis and evaluation of the original works. With this addition, students of nursing theory will be able to examine the origins of the ideas contained in nursing theories.