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Assignment: Concept Analysis Essay

Assignment: Concept Analysis Essay

Concepts are an important part of theory development in nursing, as they are framework’s building blocks (Bergdahl & Berterö, 2016). Concept analysis has therefore become an important part of theory development and examination of evidence-based practices in nursing. According to Alghamdi (2016), concept analysis focuses mainly on dissecting the concept into its elements as a way of promoting clarity and understanding of its use in nursing. It is an important practice in nursing which helps in identifying whether our professional experiences are similar through categorization of similar aspects of a concept (Hasanpour-Dehkordi, 2016). Self-care is one of the concepts that are largely utilized in the development of nursing theories. It mainly encompasses individual’s ability to meet their diverse needs with minimal assistance from others. The concept was put forward by Dorothea Orem in her theory of Self-Care. Therefore, this research paper explores in detail the concept of self-care, its attributes, antecedent and consequence, empirical referents, and construction of cases.

Dorothea Orem developed the concept of self-care in her theory of Self-Care Deficit Nursing Theory in 1980. According to Orem, self-care is the performance of the various activities that one initiates personally as a way of maintaining their lives and feeling of well-being. The meaning was later revised to encompass the care that one performs independently when h/she has reached maturity state that is characterized by control, consistence, and deliberate initiation of purposeful action (Smith & Liehr, 2018). The World Health Organization defines self-care as the ability of individuals, families, or communities to engage in activities that promote their health, prevent disease occurrence, maintenance of health, and coping with a disease or disability without depending on a self-care agent such as a health care provider (WHO, n.d.). The activities include lifestyle modification, healthcare seeking habits, rehabilitation, and hygiene. Factors such as depression, illness, inefficiency, feelings of futility, and worthlessness affect one’s self-care practices (Hasanpour-Dehkordi, 2016). Therefore, it is important that nurses work actively with their patients in ensuring that they meet their self-care needs independently.

Literature Review

Several studies have been conducted to explore the concept of self-care in nursing according to Dorothea Orem’s theory. One of them is the study by Mills, Wand and Fraser (2018) that explored self-care meaning among palliative patients. Self-care was found to be a self-initiated behavior that is targeted at promoting the general wellbeing and good health. The meaning of self-care differs based on individual’s context.  For instance, palliative care patients perceived self-care as the ability to manage the barriers as well as enablers to the practice of self-care, ability to maintain different individualized self-care strategies, and proactively engage in activities that promote personal health and wellbeing. The themes on practices of self-care also emerged in the research by Mills et al., (2018). It emerged that self-care practices that healthcare providers and patients utilized include meditation, spiritual practice, having adequate sleep, healthy diet, relaxation at home, and ensuring team cohesion in workplace settings.

According to Abreu et al. (2015), self-care is one of the regulatory functions of the human beings that need to be carried out by individuals themselves to preserve their health, self-esteem and life. The activities are deliberate and encompass measures used to prevent illnesses and maintain a healthy living (Abreu et al., 2015). Crane and Ward (2016) conducted a study to explore the nurses’ understanding and management of self-care. The results showed that nurses could promote their self-healing and self-care by being aware of the stressors and the available physical techniques they can use to facilitate their self-care and self-healing. The awareness stimulates the adoption of self-care practices since it alerts their mental, physical, and emotional responses to different stressful situations. Nurses can also engage in physical activities such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, mindfulness, visualization, and hypnosis among others (Crane & Ward, 2016). These activities promote self-care, as they are powerful in facilitating physical healing and reducing emotional and physical stress.

Barriers to self-care have also been analyzed extensively in research to understand them as a way of coming up with interventions of

Assignment Concept Analysis Essay

Assignment Concept Analysis Essay

their occurrence and adverse effects on individual’s health. Jahan et al., (2018) and Tony et al., (2018), found that negative attitude, low level of knowledge, motivation, and poor relationship between patients and their healthcare providers affect adversely one’s ability to engage in self-care abilities. According to Cecilio et al., (2018), doubts about the medical management of a disease, and family issues hinder the ability of patients to engage in self-care abilities. Therefore, enabling factors such as strong family and social support, and assisting clients develop realistic expectations should be made available for them to be able to address the above barriers (Adu et al., 2019).

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Defining Attributes of Self-Care Concept

Self-care concept has several attributes. One of them is that it is affected by interaction. Interaction is perceived as the basis of self-care. The healthcare providers and seekers of healthcare interact to explore the health needs that should be met. The interaction is important, as it allows for patient’s involvement in the planning of care, its implementation and evaluation (Hasanpour-Dehkordi, 2016). Consequently, studies have shown that positive or effective interactions enhance patient’s self-care since the compliance and rate of satisfaction are enhanced.

The other characteristic of self-care is that it is affected by education. Education determines one’s ability to engage in activities that promote self-care. As a result, it is important that health care providers offer adequate health education to the patients for them to achieve their self-care objectives. The education could be in the form of face-to-face training or group training. Clinical evidence has shown that effective self-care education results in increased patient participation and enhanced self-care (Hasanpour-Dehkordi, 2016). Therefore, health care providers should strive towards ensuring that patients are well informed about their healthcare needs and ways of meeting them in a collaborative way.

The other feature of self-care is that it is affected by self-monitoring and self-reliance. Self-monitoring entails, that the activities that an individual engages in on a daily basis promotes healthy living. Self-monitoring enhances the adoption of health promotion practices among the vulnerable populations. It also addresses the cultural needs of the patients by ensuring that holistic approaches to disease management are used. Self-reliance on the other hand focuses on ensuring that the self-care interventions are ethical in nature. It includes incorporating the aspects of respect, justice, honesty, and non-maleficence among others in the provision of care. As shown by Hasanpour-Dehkordi (2016), self-reliance and self-monitoring empower patients to embrace and explore additional ways in which their diverse self-care needs can be met.

Assignment: Concept Analysis Essay

Antecedent and Consequence of Self-Care Concept

Antecedents refer to the events that happen before self-care. One of them is self-esteem. A direct correlation exists between one’s self-esteem and self-care. Individuals that have a high sense of self-esteem are likely to engage in self-care with minimum support when compared to those with low self-esteem. The difference arises from the fact that these individuals are ready to embrace change and can explore the different ways in which barriers to self-care can be addressed using independent efforts (Hasanpour-Dehkordi, 2016). Consequence refers to the outcomes that occur after an event. An example of a consequence that relate to self-care concept is reduced hospital stay. Patients who actively engage in self-care are likely to have few hospital stays when compared to those who do not engage in self-care. This effect can be seen in diabetic patients where admitted patients who adhere strictly to dietary and exercise requirements are likely to be discharged earlier due to controlled blood sugars when compared to non-compliant diabetic patients.

Empirical Referents

Several tools have been developed measure the objective presence of self-care concepts. One of them is the use of Therapeutic Self-Care (TSC), which focuses on self-care abilities of patients in acute care settings. It consists of 13 items that measure different self-care aspects such as taking medications, recognizing as well as managing symptoms, undertaking the activities of the daily living, managing symptoms of a disease, and adjusting one’s activities of the daily living due to a condition. This tool aids in evaluating the self-care needs of a patient and the ways in which they can be met (Sidani & Doran, 2014). The other way of measuring self-care concept in an objective way is by using the Adherence and Self-Management Monitoring tool. This tool allows for the determination of whether a patient is adhering to a given treatment regime or not. Through it, the expected consequences of care are predicted (Lu et al., 2016).

Construct Cases

Model Case

An example of a model case is a patient who has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The patient is able to initiate his activities of the daily living independently. He also adheres to the prescribed medications and exercise. He has also learned to live with the fact that he might have to take diabetic medications for the rest of his life. The patient’s self-care ability is attributed to his high level of self-esteem, education on diabetes management, positive interactions with the healthcare providers, and strong social support. The consequences of his self-care abilities include his reduced rates of hospital admissions, increased sense of health and wellbeing, and regulated blood glucose levels.

Borderline Case

An example of borderline case is a patient who has been diagnosed with sickle cell disease. The patient has been able to meet her self-care needs. This includes her ability to undertake her activities of the daily living, adhere to the prescribed medications, and attends regular hospital checkups. Her self-care abilities are attributed to her level of education and the active role she plays in planning the care she needs.

Contrary Case

An example of a contrary case is a patient who has been diagnosed with cholera. The patient lives in an environment where there is poor disposal of wastes. The source of water used for domestic purposes is contaminated. The patient does not practice hygiene practices in his household. The patient reports that he does not treat drinking water as it is against their cultural beliefs. From this case, self-care does not play a role since the environment is the source of the problem.

Theoretical Applications of Self-Care Concept

The concept of self-care can be applied in the nursing process. It can be applied in assessment, development of nursing diagnosis, planning, implementation, and evaluation of the care given to the patient. The nurse uses the concept to assess the self-care abilities of the patient. An example is determining whether the patient is able to undertake the activities of the daily living independently or not. The information will be used in formulating nursing diagnosis. An example would be activity intolerance related to the disease process as evidenced by the patient’s inability to regulate bladder emptying. The diagnosis will then aid in the development of a plan that needs to be embraced to meet the self-care deficit (Williams, 2016). Lastly, evaluation is undertaken to determine whether the intervention was effective in meeting the set objective or not and the things that require a revision.

The other application of the concept is in nursing research. Researchers can use the concept in exploring the experiences of patients suffering from different conditions. An example is the increased use of the concept in exploring the self-care abilities of patients who are diagnosed with conditions such as diabetes, cancer, and sickle cell disease. The use of this concept in research aids in the development of evidence-based approaches that can be employed to improve the health and wellbeing of the patients.

The Purpose of Concept Analysis

The analysis of self-care concept is important in many ways. Firstly, it provides an understanding of the meaning of the concept in relation to the nursing practice. It provides insights into the ways in which the concept can be used to meet the healthcare needs of the population. Concept analysis also provides an understanding of its application to various areas of research. It allows the researchers to explore the ways in which the concept can be used to underpin the provision of evidence-based care. Lastly, analysis of the self-care concept allows for the critique of its applicability to the nursing practice (Finkelman, 2017). The healthcare providers understand the strengths associated with the underpinning theory and ways in which it can be used to promote the health and wellbeing of the patients.

How Self-Care Applies to Dorothea Orem’s Theory

The concept of self-care underpins Orem’s theory of self-care and self-care deficits. The theory asserts that patients recover faster if they are given the opportunity to undertake their own self-care. This assertion implies that a strong focus on the promotion of self-care will result in the realization of the goals of care stated by Orem in her theory. Orem also identified that individuals have requisites that include universal and development requisites. The requisites can only be achieved in case of patient’s self-care abilities (Masters, 2014). Therefore, based on the above data, a direct correlation exists between self-care concept and Dorothea Orem’s theory of self-care and self-care deficits.


In summary, concepts are an important foundation for theory development. Self-care concept is an example of a concept that underpins various theories of nursing including Dorothea’s. The concept largely focuses on individual’s ability to engage in activities that promote health and wellbeing independently. The concept is affected by factors such as education, interaction, self-reliance, and self-monitoring. Tools that measure its use objectively have been developed. Therefore, they should largely be utilized to explore the ways in which the concept can be applied in nursing practice and research to enhance the quality of care. Through it, it will be possible to understand the different theories that the concept applies.

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