A Delphi survey for the development of community health nursing theory

Hamilton, Patricia
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One purpose of this study was to assess the opinions of Community Health Nurse scholars regarding the appropriateness of generic nursing theory and theories from other disciplines for Community Health Nursing. Another aim of the study was to identify concepts thought by Community Health Nurse scholars to be of greatest importance to Community Health Nursing. The study was intended also to create consensus about society's expectations of Community Health Nurses as well as the above factors, all of which influence the development of theory appropriate to Community Health Nursing. Finally, it was the intention of the investigator to establish an agenda for the construction of theory that is appropriate for Community Health Nursing.

A random sample of the members of the Association of Community Health Nurse Educators were respondents to a two-round Delphi survey. Findings included: (1) Most respondents feel that generic nursing theory is appropriate for Community Health Nursing. (2) One hundred thirty concepts were judged to be of greatest importance to Community Health Nursing. (3) Theories from other disciplines and categories of theory were rated by the majority of respondents to be significantly more appropriate for community Health Nursing than nursing theories and models. (4) The description of "community as client" ranked highest by respondents was: The client is more complex and multifaceted than is an individual or family as client. Such factors as politics, economics, and the environment must be considered by the Community Health Nurse. (5) Factors pertinent to the evaluation of theory for Community Health Nursing were: (a) academic and research application of theory, (b) practice application of theory, (c) philosophic/ideologic fit of theory and Community Health Nursing. (6) The grouping factors related to the appropriateness for Community Health Nursing were: (a) social forces for health and health behavior, (b) family and small group functioning, (c) generic nursing and nursing process, (d) health and belief systems, (e) community as client, (f) illness prevention/health promotion/health protection, and (g) caring and phenomenology.

Generic nursing theory, Community Health Nursing