Middle Range Theories in Nursing

Middle Range Theories in Nursing are the least abstract level of theoretical knowledge, they are known to have narrower and detailed focus compared to grand theories.

These nursing theories are specific to nursing practice and specify the area of practice, age range of the patient, nursing action or intervention, and proposed outcome.  Emerge at the intersection of research and practice, when theory guides practice, practice generates research questions, and research informs understanding of theory and practice.

Middle range theories focus on concepts that thoughtful nurses want to explore, such as pain, grief and comfort.

Examples of Middle Range Nursing Theories

HILDEGARD PEPLAU – Interpersonal Relations Theory

- emphasized the nurse-client relationship as the foundation of nursing practice

JOYCE TRAVELBEE – Human-to-Human Relations Model

- focus on the caring function towards the ill person

MADELEINE LEININGER – Transcultural Theory in Nursing

- Emphasized the need for nurses to understand their patient’s culture and background in order to provide care.


-Nurses alter the environment so that a significant other would have the privacy to share the bed with the loved one or so that various religious or cultural customs could be enacted

JEANINE ROOSE AUGER- Behavioral Systems and Nursing

-A Primary Advantage of utilizing a model is that it provides an objective framework for organizing observations of patient behavior, thereby increasing consistency and continuity of care provided by all nursing staff

DR. PHIL BARKER -Tidal Theory

- The tidal theory is a philosophical approach to the discovery of mental health, focused on helping people recover their personal story of distress, as a first step towards reclaiming control over their lives

KATHRYN E. BERNARD – Parent – Child Interaction Model

- The core values shows that healthy infant development is dependent upon a parent or caretaker responding to signals from the child in a loving and dependable manner, starting from the moment of birth

DR. MARY BENNETT – PNI Nursing Theory

- Psychoneuroimmunology Theory Information is the study of interactions between ones perception of the world around them, their behavior, the way their brain functions and their immune system.

CARRIE JO BRADEN – Learned Response to Chronic Illness Theory

-States that a learned response to chronic illness indicates how a repertoire of enabling factors that enhance learning might mediate responses to the experience of chronicity

DR. MARION CONTI-O’HARE – Theory of a Nurse as a Wounded Healer

- Nurses and other health professionals become wounded healers after recognizing, transforming and transcending the pain of trauma in their lives.

CHERYL COX – Interaction Model of Client Health Behavior

- The model defines the interactive and collective contributions of a survivor family and provider to adherence to protocols, reduction of risk behavior and promotion of health-protective behavior


- Chronic sorrow differs from acute grief because it is permanent, periodic, and progressive in nature

JEAN JOHNSON – Sensation Theory

- Indicates that affective and psychomotor knowledge and preparation prior to threatening events such as surgery increases cooperation and decreases anxiety about those events

E. LENZ AND L. PUGH – The Theory of Unpleasant Symptoms

- Specifies 3 categories of variables are identified as effecting the occurrence, intensity, timing, distress level, and quality of symptoms

- Physiologic factors

- Psychological factors

- Situational factors

GERI LOBIONDO-WOOD – The Theory of Family Stress and Adaptation

- Sets forward acute stressors (meaning sudden onset) which when accumulated could lead to family crises, including physical, emotional or relational crises.

ROZZANO C. LOCSIN – Advancing Technology, Caring and Nursing

- Technological competency as caring in Nursing

RAMONA MERCER – Role Attainment; Chronically Ill children;

how families adjust

- Formulated to serve as framework for nurses to provide appropriate health care interventions for nontraditional mothers so they could successfully attain a strong maternal identity.

KATHLEEN O’CONNEL – Theory of Self Control Strength

- States that self control can be depleted, time and rest are required to replenish it.

DR. NOLA J. PENDER – Health Promotion Model

- focuses on developing interventions to increase activity in pre-teen and teenage families. This model is a heuristic devise that encourages scholars to look integratively at variables that have been shown to impact health behavior

SUE POPKESS-VAWTER – Holistic self care model of

permanent weight control

-Combines the successful physical, cognitive, and psychological essentials of healthy approaches for weigh reduction as a means of stopping weight cycling and promoting weight control

BARBARA RESNICK – Theory of Self Efficacy

- states that self-efficacy expectations and outcome expectations are not only influenced by behavior, but also by verbal encouragement, physiological sensations and exposure to role models

REVA RUBIN- Theory of Maternal Identity

- The concept of maternal role attainment. Described the maternal role as complex cognitive and social process which is learned, reciprocal, and interactive


Eufemia, Octaviano F. & Balita, Carl E. , 2008. Theoretical Foundations of Nursing: The Philippine Perspective. Ultimate Learning Series.

Middle Range Theories. Nurses.info. August 2008. http://www.nurses.info/nursing_theory_midrange_theories.htm

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