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ANALYSIS AND EVALUATION OF

THEORY
ANALYSIS AND EVALUATION OF THEORY
In evaluating a theory, we must consider its degree
of usefulness to guide practice, research, education
and administration. Evaluation provides new insight
into relationships among concepts and their links to
each other. This allow the researcher to know the
theorys strength and weakness.
In evaluating a theory, we must first provide a
description of it. This is done be reviewing the entire
work while focusing in its historical aspect. After
which, the researcher systematically and objectively
examines the context, structure and its function. This
step is called theory analysis.
ANALYSIS AND EVALUATION OF THEORY
Finally, a critical reflection is done by ascertaining
how well a theory serves the professions progress.
This also involves determining whether the theory is
contributing to the knowledge base of nursing.
Scope of Analysis and Evaluation
By Fawcett, 1989
Analysis Evaluation
Historical evolution of the
theory
Approach to model
development
Content
Source of concern
Explicitness of assumption
Degree of
comprehensiveness
Logical congruence
Ability of the model to test
and generate hypothesis
Contribution of the model to
nursing knowledge

ANALYSIS AND EVALUATION OF THEORY
Five criteria in evaluating a theoretical work
according to Chinn and Kramer (1991):
Clarity
Simplicity
Generality
Empirical precision
Derivable consequences

Clarity
Consistency, semantics and structure
Identify major concepts and sub-concepts
Word defined operationally
Diagrams is clear and consistent
Logical sequence
Assumption is consistent with defined goals
Simplicity
Adequately comprehensive at a level of abstraction
Offers greatest sense of understanding (Raynolds)
Parsimony (elegant in simplicity although extensive
in content).

Generality
The broader scope of the theory, the greater its
significance.

Empirical Precision
The degree in which the defined concepts are
observable in actual setting.
Derivable Consequences
Nursing theory should lead itself to research testing
which would result to additional knowledge that
would guide practice.
Nursing theory should give direction to research and
practice, create new ideas, and ought to distinguish
the focus of nursing to other professions.
Theory must develop and guide practice.
Theories should reveal what knowledge should
nurses acquire and pursue.
THEORY ANALYSIS
CRITERIA QUESTIONS TO BE ASKED
Clarity Is the theory clearly stated?
How clear is the theory?
Is it easily understood?
Simplicity How simple is the theory?
Generality How general is the theory?
How broad is the scope of the
theory?
Empirical Precision Is the theory testable?
How accessible is the theory?
Derivable Consequences How important is the theory?
Does the theory have a significant
contribution to nursing
knowledge?