Conceptual-Theoretical-Empirical Structure (CTE)

Write a 1,000-1,250 word paper examining how the Conceptual – Theoretical –
Empirical (CTE) structure translates into nursing practice based on one of the
middle range theories that has been formulated or derived from your preferred
conceptual model of nursing. Translate and apply the selected theory to nursing
practice using actual examples. Evaluate the theory using the CTE steps below:

  1. Evaluation of the conceptual-theoretical-empirical linkages.
  2. Evaluation of the selected theory.
  3. Evaluation of the empirical indicators.
  4. Evaluation of research findings.
  5. Evaluation of the utility and soundness of the practice theory.

Conceptual-Theoretical-Empirical Structure (CTE) Evaluation

Theories and models in nursing form the basis for practicing nursing in a particular
manner. The theory that is chosen for evaluation in this paper is the Dorothea Orem’s Self-care
Theory. According to the theory, there are four domains of the human system that are maintained
at optimal functioning. The domains include; intake of sufficient air, food, and water,
maintenance of efficient elimination of body waste, prevention of injury and hazards to the
human body, maintenance of balance between solitude and social interaction and finally ensuring
of optimal body functioning. An interruption to the food intake, inability to breathe sufficient and
clean air and inability to drink water is associated with medical conditions such as; malnutrition,
respiratory diseases such as pneumonia and dehydration respectively. According to this theory,
every individual maintains their health through optimizing the domains. Disruption of the
efficiency of the four self-care domains is associated with the inability of the individual to
maintain self-care, and there patient is in a state of self-care deficit. The role of nursing and the
individual is to collaboratively compensate for the lost self-care ability through total, partial or
supportive compensatory levels. For instance, an individual whose body elimination system is
impaired is compensated for by insertion of a urinary catheter or renal dialysis (Smith & Parker,

Conceptual-Theoretical-Empirical Linkages

The main concepts in self-care theory form the basis for the four domains proposed in the
theory. Firstly, the nutritional and respiratory concept that is composed of the effective intake of
sufficient amounts of food, air, and water. In the body’s normal physiology, nutrition contributes


to the body’s supply of nutrients including; carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and minerals. Each of
these nutrient splay a specific and critical role in the body’ metabolic reactions and the general
body functioning. The domain also pertains to the concept of the respiratory functioning. The
respiratory functioning avails oxygen to the body, which is important for cellular anaerobic
respiration for energy production. The concept of body wastes elimination pertains the secretory
function of the body. Excretion of body wastes is a normal and important role that protects the
body against harmful toxic wastes and maintains homeostasis through the kidneys, skin and the
lungs. The balancing between solitude and social functioning is important in anything-healthy
social interaction patterns. The maintenance of body functioning and prevention of harm to the
body is a way of preventing the body organs and tissues from physical injuries such as trauma
that may lead to organ damage, bone fractures and exposure to environmental allergens and
mutagens. The physiological concepts of nutrition, respiration, excretion, and protection are
contained in the self are deficit theory and are observed in real human body functioning. The
concept of pathophysiology is presented in the theory as self-care deficit, for an instance, the
growth of tumor in the digestive system that interferes with food and water intake. The concept
of nursing care is presented in the theory as compensation for the deficits, for example, provision
of mechanical ventilation for a patient with severe breathing complications (Santos, Ramos, &
Fonseca, 2017).

Evaluation of the Selected Theory

The selected theory, Self-care Theory, has its strengths and weaknesses as well. The
theory describes a health state, the state of the individual when a disease occurs and the
interventions that are undertaken in order to restore the stage of health. The three components of
health, disease and nursing intervention are presented in an interrelation manner. The theory
provides a domain-based analysis of the healthy state, where individuals practice self-care for
themselves, the disruption of the respective domain when an illness occurs. Therefore, a nurse
carrying out the compensation for the lost domain function creates specific goals in collaboration
with the patient. Thus, the nursing intervention is specific, accurate and goal oriented. However,
the theory has weaknesses. The theory does not present all the domains that affect the human
body’s functioning. The functions and systems of the body that are important to the individual’s
health care; the body’s control system that maintains a consistent state of internal body
environment, for example, the control of body temperature (Younas, 2017).

Evaluation of the Empirical Indicators

The empirical indicators in the application of the self-care theory are diverse and
clinically based. The empirical indicators are both objective and subjective. The subjective
indicators are the set of the date that the patient presents to the nurse, concerning the four
domains in the welfare. The patient gives the information about the development of symptoms
that affect the four domains of the welfare theory in the occurrences of an illness. For instance,
the patient gives the history related to the inability to pass stool and difficulties in breathing
pertaining the domain of intake of air and the domain of elimination of body wastes.
Additionally, the nurses’ clinical evaluation is another indicator when applying the theory in
nursing practice. Nurses assess the patients through physical examination, laboratory and
radiological investigations (McEwen & Wills, 2017).

Evaluation of Research Findings

The self-care theory can be used to evaluate funding of research studies that pertain to the
effects of disease on certain self-care domains and the effectiveness of nursing interventions.
While evaluating research findings on the effects of a disease condition of a patient, the effect
can be, for instance, classified into the four domains described in the theory. The classification
under the domains allows for objective evaluation of the findings on the affected domains only.
In order to evaluate the effectiveness of a nursing intervention, the type of the intervention is
determined whether it aims at solving the self-care deficit in any of the four self-care domains.
Therefore the research findings on the nursing intervention are evaluated for this level of
relevance as pertains compensation patients for the lost ability for self-care (Matarese, Lommi, &
De Marinis, 2017).

Evaluation of the Utility and Soundness

The Self-Care Theory is appropriate and useful to the current nursing practice in several
ways. To begin with, the theory focuses on the uniqueness of health needs of every individual
patient. The theory is based on individual health care needs in terms of self-care domains.
Therefore, the theory personalizes care from a general point of view presented by other theories.
Secondly, the theory specifies the body system that is affected by an illness, the assessment of
the patient aims at dealing with specific domains of the human body system. Therefore, the
assessment is likely to be more detailed and thorough (Fawcett, 2015).
In conclusion, the Welfare theory is well related to the basic nursing concepts and can be
well interlinked with practical examples. The theory has its weaknesses and strengths. There are
specific indicators for measuring the application of the theory into nursing practice. The theory
can be used in the evaluation of research findings in the nursing practice and it is sound and
offers several utilities.


Fawcett, J. (2015). Evolution and Use of Formal Nursing Knowledge. Advancing Your Career
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Matarese, M., Lommi, M., & De Marinis, M. G. (2017). Systematic review of measurement
properties of self‐reported instruments for evaluating self‐care in adults. Journal of
advanced nursing, 73(6), 1272-1287.
McEwen, M., & Wills, E. M. (2017). Theoretical basis for nursing. Lippincott Williams &
Ramos, S., & Fonsea, C. (2017). Training to practice: The Importance of Self-Care Theory in
Nursing Process for Improving Care. Chicago: California Publishers.
Smith, M. C., & Parker, M. E. (2015). Nursing theories and nursing practice. FA Davis.
Younas, A. (2017). A Foundational Analysis of Dorothea Orem’s Self-Care Theory and
Evaluation of Its Significance for Nursing Practice and Research. Creative nursing,
23(1), 13-23.