Describe how a concept analysis can be helpful for nursing (drawing from Walker and Avant, 2011). Walker, L.O., & Avant, K.C. (2011). Strategies for theory construction in nursing (5th ed.)....

Describe how a concept analysis can be helpful for nursing (drawing from Walker and Avant, 2011).

Walker, L.O., & Avant, K.C. (2011). Strategies for theory construction in nursing (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

Expert Answers
jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

According to Walker and Avant, theory construction involves figuring out the defining attributes that distinguish one concept from another. Concept analysis can help nurses understand how their definitions of concepts can differ from those of the populations they serve. For example, in the article "Overcoming: An Analysis," the authors (see the sources below) use this methodology to determine the defining attributes of overcoming and to discuss its application to nursing. The authors study the ways in which the concept of "overcoming" one's difficulties can vary between service providers and homeless mothers and can vary among homeless mothers.  

Following the Walker and Avant model, this study also looked at the antecedents and consequences of overcoming, which Walker and Avant describe as events that take place as a result of a concept and that can open up new methods of thinking, and empirical referents, which are ways to measure the occurrence of the concept. The authors of this study, following the Walker and Avant model, present three case studies, a model case, borderline case, and a contrary case, studying the ways in which homeless mothers did or did not embody the concept of overcoming. While the women in the study often spoke about "overcoming" their situation, some of their behaviors did not show attributes of the concept. Only by defining the antecedents, attributes, and consequences of the concepts can nurses design interventions that promote physical, psychological, and environmental health outcomes. In other words, nurses need to clarify the concept they are studying (in this case, overcoming) to design effective interventions. Another peer-related article related to concept analysis in nursing is in the sources section below. 

 

Sources:

Brush, B.L., Kirk, K., Gultekin, L., & Baiardi, J.M. (2011). Overcoming: A concept analysis. Nurs Forum, 46(3): 160–168. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-6198.2011.00227.

Kim, H., McGuire, D.B., Tulman, L., Barsevick, A. M. (2005). Symptom clusters: Concept analysis and clinical implications for cancer nursing. Cancer Nursing, 28 (4), 270–282.