Middle Range Theory Scholarly Paper

Health and illness are indisputably part of human experience. However, many people across the globe have been diagnosed with chronic diseases at some point in their lives (Lopes, Silva, and Herdman, 2017). Among these deadly diseases is a stroke. As a result, nurses must embrace the best ways of caring and treating patients with stroke. The effects of stroke on families and their families are not welcoming. They included but are not limited to increased costs of living, poor health status, low living standards, wastage of money and time in treatment, and likely death of patients. Notably, stroke is among the leading causes of disabilities in the world. There has been an exponential increase in the incidence of stroke. As a result, the development of middle-range theory in the early 1900s became relevant due to the increasing nursing care demands in the health sector (Enger and Andershed, 2017). In this case, the theory serves as an essential tool in nursing care because it frames a patient’s experience with and progression through stroke recovery stages. This paper aims at integrating the middle range theory of transition in nursing to define interventions that will address the impacts of a stroke on patients and their families.

Middle Range Theory and its Concepts

Developed by Robert K. Merton, the middle-range theory of transition is used in nursing care through the integration of nursing practice, past patient experiences, and empirical research. The drastic and apparent changes in health and illness in the 21st century has created a process of transition. During transitions, clients are often vulnerable to health risks. Indeed, uncovering these complications may only require comprehension of transition processes in healthcare (Enger and Andershed, 2017). The middle-range theory has the potential to assist nurses in appropriately identifying strategies that support stroke patients and their families.  There are four significant concepts of middle range theory of nursing including nurse, environment, person, and health. All these concepts are intertwined together. The nurse forms a bond with the patient during the intervention phases. Moreover, nurses have the responsibility to apply technical skills, procedures, and professional knowledge in improving patient care. On the other hand, the environment is another significant concept of the middle range theory that encompasses the patient’s societal norms, practices, and their culture (Lopes, Silva, and Herdman, 2017). These parameters are important considerations that nurses should focus on while developing nursing interventions for patients with stroke.

A patient’s environment includes mental status, social aspects such as culture, ecology, politics, and geographical location. The person as a concept of middle range theory of nursing is the organism that strives to reduce anxieties and tensions emanating from daily needs. A person becomes the primary focus of nursing. Nevertheless, the definition of a person as a concept of the middle range theory is dependent on the recipients of nursing care which includes the community and client’s family. Finally, health is the frontward effort to achieve an industrious, imaginative, and personal community living. Evaluating the impacts of a stroke on patients and their families requires an understanding of the spiritual, emotional, mental, physical, and mental well-being of these patients. Ideally, changes in health among patients with stroke creates a process of transition. Clients in health transition are largely vulnerable to additional health complications (Weiss et al., 2017).

Application of Middle Range Theory to Professional and Clinical Practice

The middle range theory is essential in treating patients with stroke who often experience turbulent and unstable health states in their lives. Notably, many people are experiencing health crises related to stroke in modern society. First, the theory allows nurses to think for patients suffering from a stroke in a holistic manner. It incorporates various stages of transitions including developmental, situational, organizational, and health-illness. Additionally, nurses can visualize every need of patients and consequently develop a care plan for every individual. Secondly, middle range theory of nursing provides holistic care (Müller et al., 2013). Holistic care expresses total professional nursing roles in integrating care of patient’s mind, body, and spirit.

This theory of transition in nursing enhances the achievement of physical, mental, and spiritual care among patients with stroke. Consequently, the quality of life for both the patients and their families is improved. Holistic care that comes with middle range theory ensures that nurses are fully involved in helping patients recover from health complications resulting from stroke. Additionally, the theory offers professional counseling programs in clinical settings which enable nurses to prescribe the most appropriate and balanced lifestyles to these patients (Lor, Backonja, and Lauver, 2017). Thirdly, this theory of transition has stimulated theoretical thinking and decision making in clinical facilities. Through the use of this theory, nurses can efficiently apply coherent intervention models in treating patients with stroke as well as supporting their families throughout the entire treatment process. Finally, the middle range theory of nursing has led to further research and study in the clinical profession. It has enabled researchers and clinical specialists to design coherent and systematic questions and present findings and medical solutions to the identified health gaps (Lopes, Silva, and Herdman, 2017).

Theoretical Adequacy of Middle Range Theory

The middle range theory is guided by a set of criterion which evaluates its theoretical adequacies in clinical practices. First, the theory is clear: it sets out consistent clinical guidelines that are practical in health care facilities. Secondly, the middle range theory is simple and sufficiently comprehensive (Lopes, Silva, and Herdman, 2017). It provides nurses with a vast experience of understanding in their profession. This is an essential aspect of transition when caring and treating patients with stroke. Thirdly, the theory displays generality by providing a broader scope of application. Notably, generality describes the broader significance of nursing theories. Fourthly, the middle range theory is accessible. In the case of treating patients with stroke, this theory generates hypotheses that allow nurses to conduct extensive empirical research in determining interventions for these patients. Finally, the theory is important in guiding research and practice (Weiss et al., 2017). In this case, it acts as a guide to the nature and scope of knowledge that nurses should pursue while caring and treating patients with stroke.


The middle range theory is a useful tool in responding to and designing treatment plans for patients with stroke. The theory allows nurses to integrate critical thinking and comprehend the health needs of their clients. Effective planning for better patient outcomes are products of appraising a middle-range theory in nursing practice. Dealing with patients with stroke and supporting their families require a theory that incorporates holistic care. As a result, the middle range theory integrates empirical research and nursing practice while at the same time, developing interventions for treating and caring for these patients. Undoubtedly, the theory is a prerequisite for integrating professional practices throughout the transition phases of individuals with stroke.

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