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Writing theory for nursing

I'm getting ready to put my Holistic Theory of Unpleasant Symptoms (HTOUS) out in front of the world. It's a 21st century revision of the Theory of Unpleasant Symptoms, originally published by Lenz and colleagues in 1995, then revised in 1997. My theory is is inspired by the work of Martha Rogers, viewing humans and their associated environments as open complex, irreducible, ever-evolving energy fields that function in wholes, not parts. This model describes aspects of pattern related to symptom experience. Symptoms are considered manifestations of patterns associated with open energy fields called ‘nurse’, ‘patient’, and ‘environment’. Field manifestations are perceived, experienced, and expressed by people and responsive to nursing input. If healing is considered a change in the energy field in a manner that we label as wellness, then nursing interventions can be characterized as energy patterning.


Lenz, Elizabeth, PhD, RN, Suppe, Frederick, Gift, Audrey, PhD, RN, Pugh, Linda, et al. (1995). Collaborative development of middle-range nursing theories: Toward a theory of unpleasant symptoms. Advances in Nursing Science, 17(3), 1-13.

Lenz, E., Pugh, L., Milligan, R., Gift, A., & Suppe, F. (1997). The Middle-Range Theory of Unpleasant Symptoms: An Update. Advances in Nursing Science, 19(3), 14-27

Phillips, J. R. (2017). New Rogerian Theoretical Thinking About Unitary Science. Nursing Science Quarterly, 30(3), 223–226.

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