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Middle-Range Theories in Nursing Research Essay

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Updated: Jun 24th, 2022

Nursing theory is a demanding and innovative way of forming concepts to have an orderly view of an incident. The middle-range theories offer proposals and ideas, nursing policies, and an increasing theory-based tactic. There are three major types of middle-range concepts: descriptive, explanatory, and predictive theories (Fawcett & Garity, 2009). The descriptive theory is the first and most basic one created through expressive study techniques, which may either be qualitative or quantitative. It helps to identify what is similar in groups, circumstances, occasions, or characters. The explanatory theory is the second type used to define the relationship between ideas (Gray et al., 2017). This concept also demonstrates the degree to which an idea is related to another, and it is formed and verified by linked research which is mostly numerical in presentation. The predictive theory is the third one created and confirmed through investigation (McEwin & Wills, 2019). This concept goes beyond the descriptive and explanatory as it helps to show how variations happen in a phenomenon.

The Hypothesis from the Middle Range Theory

As an example of a practice project, the hypothesis will be taken from the mid-range principle of holistic treatment. The first premise is that there is a connection between the patient’s confidence and quality of life or well-being (Jacelon et al., 2011). Second, there is an association between a client’s spiritual activities and their health during illness. Third, there is a recurrence between the sick person’s emotions about spiritual satisfaction and the value of life in their holistic understanding (Fawcett & Garity, 2009). The central concept is an interdependence between all-inclusive treatment and patient quality of life or welfare. The mid-range concept of medical practice integrates the model as a framework of four interpersonal versus non-relational hypotheses (DeSanto-Madeya & Fawcett, 2009). Therefore, nursing is only concerned with the four non-relational and relational premises of the metaparadigm.

Application of Middle Range Theories in Health Care Delivery Phenomena

Middle range theory enriches nursing ideas by providing tangible organized interpretations of variables that guide the nursing and nursing knowledge development (McEwen & Wills, 2019). The middle range theory provides a focus on research, an objective, and focuses for a study. Through the speculative outlines and guidance to research, the nurses are able to form foundational knowledge. Research is vital to direct evidence-based practice involvements for better patient results. In middle range theory, the features of the proposals are clearly indicated, due to which enhanced decisions can be made for health care patients. The middle range theory offers the nursing students with concepts of specific areas in nursing. Though the ideas are limited, they still help on adding to their knowledge. The theory also contains all the necessary literature reviews and clinical practices and guidelines that should be followed by nurses.

Empiricism on Quantitative Research Methodology

Empirical research is grounded on measured and practical phenomena that develop information from concrete research rather than from a belief. This is why the methods employed in quantitative research are aimed at getting data that is tangible, usually in numerical form (Murrock & Higgins, 2009). Issuing questionnaires, surveying, and observation are some of the methods employed to achieve empiricism under quantitative research. Therefore, as an example, and using the descriptive concept, which is under middle-range theory, research should be conducted to find out what is similar in alcoholics, especially after consuming alcohol. The study should also explain why this behavior occurs more often, its negative effects, and how it can be controlled.


DeSanto-Madeya, S., & Fawcett, J. (2009). Nursing Science Quarterly, 22(4), 355-359. Web.

Fawcett, J., & Garity, J. (2009). Evaluation of middle-range theories. Evaluating research for evidence-based nursing (pp. 73-88). Philadelphia, F. A. Davis.

Gray, J.R., Grove, S.K., & Sutherland, S. (2017). Burns and Grove’s the practice of nursing research: Appraisal, synthesis, and generation of evidence (8th ed.). Saunders Elsevier.

Jacelon, C., Furman, E., Rea, A., Macdonald, B., & Donoghue, L. (2011). Creating a professional practice model for postacute care: Adapting the Chronic Care Model for long-term care. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 37(3), 53-60. Web.

McEwin, M., & Wills, E. M. (2019). Theoretical basis for nursing. (5th ed.). Wolters Kluwer Health.

Murrock, C. J., & Higgins, P. A. (2009). The theory of music, mood and movement to improve health outcomes. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 65(10), 2249–2257. Web.

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