Middle Range Theories in The Nursing Literature

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Review Middle Range Theories in the Nursing Literature

In order to understand middle range theories, a practical knowledge of the definition should be achieved before attempting to applying to concepts or classifications to the models. Middle range theories are defined as, theories that are fundamentally individual while incorporating a controlled amount of assumptions furthermore, having a limited characteristic of reality. These concepts are defined and may be tested (McEwen & Wills, 2011 p. 35).

Three types of middle range theories are descriptive, theories that are at the most basic level. These theories classify and may contain one or more concepts that may have many commonalities but do not attempt to explain the relationship to another. Descriptive theories are usually found with discrete observations in associations with individuals, groups, situations or events. An example of a middle range descriptive theory is, Peplau’s theory of interpersonal relations (Nursing Theories, 2013) In Peplau’s theory observations are titled and categorized by what is happening at that moment.

Explanatory theories specify relations between two or more concepts that explain why and how much each theory is related to another, while being tested through correlational research. Watson, 2010 presented an example of explanatory middle range theory in the theory of human caring/caring science. In Watson’s theory the nurse and patient relationship is highlighted as a holistic care experience, from nurse to patient, as well as patient to nurse.

Predictive middle range theories have precise associations between the concepts or between the effects of the concepts on other additional concepts. Predictive theories look...

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