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Symptoms in the Holistic Theory of Unpleasant Symptoms (HTOUS)

Symptoms, as manifestations of field, form recognizable patterns. Commonly occurring symptoms are pain, fatigue, nausea and anxiety. This theory includes spiritual symptoms such as alienation, sadness, hopelessness and despair. All pattern manifestations include contextual phenomena such as behaviors, actions and experiences including wellbeing and transcendence. Because the fields are continuously open, they are subject to transformative nursing intervention at any time. Because the fields are limitless, intervening with the intent to affect an aspect may result in unanticipated effects for the whole. Non-invasive nursing modalities are used to help people to experience wellness in the context of unpleasant symptoms. The nurse can use transformative nursing actions to help people experience wellbeing in the context of unpleasant symptoms, even in the context of serious illness or at the end of life.

Due to their intrinsically subjective nature, symptoms are inherently unmeasurable. From an empirical standpoint there is no way to establish the reliability and validity of symptom measurements. Because symptom pattern manifestation affects the entire person, it is open to change in perception of severity, duration, meaning, and other phenomena responsible to nursing actions.

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