Philosophies and Theories for Advanced Nursing Practice

Nola Pender’s Health Promotion Theory as a Framework for Medical Research

The choice and implementation of an appropriate nursing framework are considered to be some of the first and most important steps in initiating medical research, right after the identification of a nursing problem or a medical research question to be examined. Frameworks in medical research are important because they provide a general blueprint for the study as well as methodological and ethical justifications and statements of research importance (Alligood, 2014). In nursing theory, there are numerous frameworks that could be used in order to outline and construct a research framework. Depending on the scope and purpose of the theory in question, they are separated into three groups – grand nursing theories, middle-range theories, and practice theories (Masters, 2014). The difference between the groups lies in the broadness of scope and range of specific nursing situations.

Nola Pender’s Healthcare Promotion Model is a grand nursing theory that is most widely used in nursing research, specifically when it comes to studies focused on community practices and disease prevention. This model underlines the importance of each person’s unique personal characteristics and experiences in explaining and analyzing consequent actions. In particular, this model is useful in psychological research, since an understanding of motivational significance is paramount when treating a plethora of mental diseases, including depression, dementia, and other diseases that negatively affect motivation, self-reliance, and social functioning (Alaviani, Khosravan, Alami, & Moshki, 2015). Major assumptions behind this theory are that the individuals would actively seek to adjust and repair their behavior, that healthcare professionals can influence patient behavior as part of the environment, and that healthcare intervention should aim at facilitating proper person-environment interactive patterns (Butts & Rich, 2013).

The Roy Adaptation Model and Its Practical Implications in Family Medicine and Research

Roy’s Adaptation Model is a mid-range nursing theory that conceptualizes the patient from a holistic perspective, analyzing individual aspects of one’s personality, healthy, and development in order to form a unified picture. It puts an emphasis on personal interaction with various environments. One of the main tenets of this theory is the exchange of matter, information, and energy, which helps form the perceptions and responses of a person towards the ever-changing environment. Roy’s Adaptation Model puts an emphasis on several natural responses to positive and negative stimulations, such as adaptive responses, coping mechanisms, as well as two coping subsystems, such as the regulator and the cognate models (Roy, 2013).

Roy’s Adaptation Model is frequently used in order to understand the mechanisms behind child development in the early stages of infancy. In particular, the cognate model explains a toddler’s modus operandi and the way a child perceives the world when having to rely on nothing else but the information they receive from their senses, rather than on built-up prior baggage of experience and knowledge. It explains answers to internal and external stimuli as well as the four integral processes of a new mind, which are information processing, emotion, learning, and judgment. Roy’s Adaptation Model provides a framework for a variety of nursing educational interventions and is widely used to explain to the parents the importance of child learning as well as the science behind systems relationships between the child, the parents, and other people around them (Rice, 2012). This theory is complex and operates on many scientific and philosophical assumptions regarding human emotions, their connections to the mind and body, and human connection to God.


Alaviani, M., Khosravan, S., Alami, A., & Moshki, M. (2015). The effect of a multi-strategy program on developing social behaviors based on Pender’s Health Promotion Model to prevent loneliness of old women referred to Gonabad urban health centers. International Journal of Community-Based Nursing-Midwifery, 3(2), 132-140.

Alligood, M. R. (2014). Nursing theorists and their work (8th ed.). New York, NY: Elsevier.

Butts, J. B., & Rich, K. L. (2013). Philosophies and theories for advanced nursing practice. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Masters, K. (2014). Nursing theories: A framework for professional practice. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Rice, V. H. (2012). Handbook of stress, coping, and health: Implications for nursing research, theory, and practice (2nd ed.). London, England: Sage Publications.

Roy, C. (2013). Generating middle-range theory: From evidence to practice. New York, NY: Springer.