Middle Range Theories Criticism Reply

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Week 2 Discussion

Internal and external criticism that is used to evaluate middle range theories

What is Middle range theory and how is it use? Middle range theory is a type of theory that is general and specific and its aim is to connect empirical research and abstract concepts.  When middle range theory is used, components are identified to each other ((Peterson & Bredow, 2020).  Middle range theory are later theorist was later developed later down the years, to be specific in the 90s.  Theory is widely used to critiquing theory initially known as the 5 criteria.  In 1990, Barnum developed internal criticism and external criticism.  Internal criticism is described as internal constructions of theory and how they fit together, and external criticism is the theory relationship to people, nursing, and health  (Peterson and Bredow 2020).

Internal criticism requires the reader to answer the following questions: 1. Does the theory logically follow 2, Is the theory consistent with and logical in the assumptions.  She gave some criteria for judging internal criticism: clarity, consistency, adequacy, logical development and level of theory development.  In clarity, two questions are used, does the theory clearly state the main component to be considered and can the reader easily understand it.  In consistency, does the theory maintain key concepts and explanation of the theory and does it have interpretations, principles and methods. Generally each of these internal criticism criteria has compartment questions that has to be answered to meet for a theory.

External Criticism ask the following: Is the theory assumption true and does the assumption represent the real world especially the world of nursing.  She recommends these criteria when evaluating for external criticism.  Reality convergence, utility, significance and capacity for discrimination.  In addition to scope and complexity (Peterson and Bredow, 2020).

Middle range theory is limited to reality .  An example would a nursing home facility with increase number of falls and what nurses can do to help reduce fall in the facility is an example of grand nursing theory.  Middle range theory would focus on the symptoms associated with falling like pain and fracture and the symptoms that are causing the problem for the patient

Another example used is the use of ventilator and weaning patient off them slowly.  Middle range theory was used to establish the theoretical basis for the nursing diagnosis dysfunctional ventilatory weaning responsis.  This study was quanititative and was used to describe middle range theory can be use as basis for nurses to understand the dysfunctional weaning process (Lemos and Cavalcante, 2020).

Lemos LA, Cavalcante LP, Lopes MVO (2020). Middle Range Theory for the Nursing Diagnosis of Dysfunctional Ventilatory Weaning Response. Int J Nurs Knowl.

Peterson, S. J., & Bredow, T. S. (2020). Middle range theories: Application to Nursing Research and Practice. LWW.

Middle Range Theories Criticism Reply

I agree with the discussion regarding the importance of internal and external criticism in evaluating middle range theories. Middle range theories play a vital role in bridging the gap between empirical research and abstract concepts, making them essential in nursing and other fields. Internal criticism, as described, focuses on the coherence and logical development of the theory. This aspect is crucial in ensuring that the theory’s components are well-structured, clear, and consistent, ultimately enhancing its utility for research and practice.

External criticism, on the other hand, assesses the theory’s relevance and applicability to real-world situations, particularly within the nursing context. This evaluation ensures that the theory’s assumptions align with the actual nursing environment, fostering its practicality and significance. The criteria for external criticism, including reality convergence, utility, significance, and capacity for discrimination, offer a comprehensive framework for evaluating the theory’s external validity.

Furthermore, your examples of middle range theory applications, such as addressing falls in nursing home facilities and ventilator weaning, highlight the practical utility of these theories in nursing research and practice. They demonstrate how middle range theories can guide nurses in understanding and addressing specific clinical challenges, making them valuable tools for enhancing patient care and outcomes.

In conclusion, middle range theories and the criteria for internal and external criticism discussed provide a robust framework for evaluating and applying nursing theories effectively. They contribute significantly to evidence-based practice and nursing research, ultimately benefiting both healthcare professionals and patients.

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