Provide a brief example of a concept to analyze in our nursing profession (e.g., caring, healing, comfort, diversity). Briefly outline the steps in the analysis of this concept.
In this thread we will continue the learning process by applying the steps of a concept analysis. Each theory is based on concepts that define and enhance the researcher’s phenomenon of interest.
In this thread you will respond to and discuss: Provide a brief example of a concept to analyze in our nursing profession (e.g., caring, healing, comfort, diversity). Briefly outline the steps in the analysis of this concept.
You will use this thread to help prepare for your Week 4 assignment, Concept Analysis. Pick a one-word concept of interest to you or one from the list (found in the concept analysis paper guidelines posted in Doc-sharing) both for your Concept Analysis paper and for this week's discussion. Read the Guidelines & Scoring Rubric before you select your concept to make sure it will be appropriate to meet the assignment requirements.
The document, Overview of Analysis Steps in Doc Sharing will be very helpful in responding to this topic question.
The course outcomes that will be used to guide the learning process are:
· Analyze the theories from nursing and relevant fields with respect to their components, relationships among the components, logic of the propositions, comprehensiveness, and utility to advanced nursing. (PO #1)
· Demonstrate logical and creative thinking in the analysis and application of a theory to nursing practice. (PO #4)
Walker & Avant’s Steps for Concept Analysis
These steps for conducting a concept analysis are listed in the assignment guidelines for the Concept Paper. Walker and Avant (2011) provide extensive descriptions and discussion of these steps. If you are interested in exploring theory and concept development further, their book is highly recommended.
For the Concept Analysis assignment, a brief discussion of each step is provided here. Reading concept-analysis articles from the scholarly literature can provide examples and further information on the steps. The text by McEwen and Willis provides some article references.
The steps are:
- Select a concept;
- Determine the purposes of the analysis;
- Identify all uses of the concept;
- Identify a model case of the concept; identify each of the following cases: borderline, related, contrary, invented, and illegitimate;
- Identify consequences and antecedents of the concept;
- Define empirical references of the concept (Walker & Avant, 2011).
There is a list of concepts provided in the guidelines and scoring rubric for Week 4. You may select a concept from this list or find one on your own.The concept must come from a nursing theory.
Aims of the Analysis
While one aim of this concept analysis is to meet the requirements of an assignment, think further on this step. Are there purposes in your nursing practice for a concept analysis? You might want to differentiate between jargon, casual use, and scientific discourse on your concept (Walker & Avant, 2011). If you have a research interest, how would a concept analysis help you in designing a study?
Ways to identify all the uses of a concept include using dictionaries and scholarly literature. Keep an open mind at this point and avoid limiting yourself to only one perspective on the concept (Walker & Avant, 2011). Go beyond healthcare resources. Read widely in the scholarly literature for various domains of knowledge and professions. Explore some slang or non-scholarly sources (but not extensively). Write down all the uses you find.
Now is when you use the purposes of the analysis. If you have many uses and a lot of variation, reflecting again on the aims and purposes of your concept analysis will help you decide a specific focus. For example, you might need to decide between considering casual uses of the concept and scientific uses (Walker & Avant, 2011). This decision is yours to make. Keep in mind your purpose and the scope of the assignment.
Determine Defining Attributes
Think of attributes as characteristics or descriptors. This is one of the most important parts of your analysis. Remember this process is not rigidly sequential. Take notes on attributes for the various concept uses – attributes that capture your attention. Look for attributes that begin to appear frequently. Your goal is to nail down a minimum set of attributes that enable you to distinguish this concept from similar concepts (Walker & Avant, 2011).
Identify Model Cases
A model case illustrates or exemplifies the concept, including demonstration of all defining attributes (Walker & Avant, 2010). This model case can be a nursing model, but that is not required. Basically, you are aiming for an example that clearly shows the concept, without confusing or distracting elements. Get a colleague to review your model case – this can help you focus the statements, identify new attributes, or eliminate attributes (Walker & Avant, 2011). Perfection is not the goal. Do your best.
Identify Additional Cases
As you explore uses of your concept and possible defining attributes, you may find some attributes of your concept that belong to related, borderline, contrary, invented, or illegitimate model cases. In other words, these are models of not-being your concept.
- Borderline cases – most but not all of the same attributes as your concept; there is some inconsistency or difference in some, if not all of the attributes.
- Related cases – have some, but not all of the same attributes; they are connected in some way.
- Contrary cases – these are the complete opposite of your concept; what your concept is not stated to be.
- Invented cases – applying your imagination, fantasy, or science-fiction leanings, you can get an interesting ‘other’ view of your concept; how would someone from the past, the future, or outer space demonstrate your concept’s attributes?
Identify Antecedents and Consequences
An antecedent takes place or precedes an instance of a concept. A defining attribute cannot be an antecedent or a consequence of the target concept (Walker & Avant, 2011). Consider situations, events, environments, or other contexts that must exist before a concept can be present. What must exist before attachment occurs?
The outcomes or results of an instance of a concept are the consequences. Again, consider the context, social or otherwise (Walker & Avant, 2011). What results, for example, from hope?
Define Empirical Referents
You have reached the final step – how do you measure this concept? How do you demonstrate the concept exists or is present? An empirical referent serves as a way to establish this existence. This is done through measuring the defining attributes. Often, the attributes and referents are the same thing. With more abstract concepts, defining attributes are more abstract and harder to capture empirically. When a defining attribute is abstract, you need an empirical referent – something measurable that can serve to identify or recognize the attribute.
Walker, L.O., & Avant, K.C. (2011). Strategies for theory construction in nursing (5th ed.).
Norwalk, CT: Appleton, Lange.