The use of cognitive mapping strategies for formulating Nursing diagnoses of a patient in pain

Date

1984-08

Authors

Kraft, Erma

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Abstract

Tolman's cognitive mapping theory was used as the theoretical framework for this study. The theory postulates that individuals are continually learning and that information is stored in the mind in the form of cognitive maps. The assumptions underlying this study infer that nurses' cognitive maps contain certain knowledge necessary for the formulation of nursing diagnoses and that additional knowledge enables them to write diagnoses of a higher quality. It was hypothesized that there would be no difference in the quality of diagnoses written by registered nurses who received instructions and those who did not receive instructions.

A pretest-posttest control experimental design was used to test the hypothesis. Two groups of registered nurses (30 in each group) were selected for the study. The experimental group received a pretest, treatment (instructions), and a posttest. The control group received a pretest and posttest only. The same pretest was administered to both groups, and the posttest for each group involved the writing of five nursing diagnoses, after the subjects were shown a videotape of a patient in pain.

An analysis of covariance was performed on the test scores from the experimental and control groups. The F Statistic for the dependent variable was 130.746, which with 1 and 57 degrees of freedom was highly significant. The results indicated that when the final scores were adjusted to take into account the pretest scores of the subjects, there was a large difference in the group who received instructions on the writing of nursing diagnoses.

The study suggests that the theoretical framework, instruments and teaching methods utilized in this study could be useful in the teaching of nursing diagnoses to students and staff nurses. Once written nursing diagnoses could serve as a valuable means of evaluating nursing care.

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Keywords

Cognitive maps, Nursing diagnose

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