Internal and External Criticism used to Evaluate Middle Range Theories
The nursing practice is guided by a framework of concepts and purposes often referred to as organized theories. These theories are classified into three categories, namely grand nursing theories, middle-range nursing theories, and practice-level nursing theories. Among the three, middle-range theory is perceived as the link connecting research and practice.
The application of middle-range theory provides advanced practice nurses with several implications. However, unlike the other theories, it has a narrower scope, greater specificity, and greater ease of application of the concept. However, the middle range theory undergoes various internal and external criticism in its evaluation. This paper will reflect on the criteria used in the evaluation process for both internal and external criticism.
Internal Criticism Evaluation
Internal criticism reflects the internal construction of different components and fits together within the theory. Therefore, internal criticism starts by examining middle-range theory on the approach clarity when it comes to evaluation.
The internal criticism of the middle range theory addresses several issues (Tatebe et al., 2019). Given the theorists’ underlying assumptions, these concerns include the middle-range theory’s consistency and whether the approach follows a logical path. It starts with an assessment that determines whether the reader understands the theory before actively using it (Greer et al., 2018).
The other determinant is the consistency of the approach and how it is perceived when used. The internal criticism evaluation also uses congruent terms, interpretations, principles, and methods. This, therefore, presents equal opportunities that bridge the gap while implementing the theory (Jabbour et al., 2019).
This is also accomplished by ensuring that the theory’s description maintains the definitions of key concepts throughout the explanations. In the evaluation mantra of the middle range theory through internal criticism, it is also critical to identify the logical development of the theory to guarantee that it is effective and the readers have an exceptional understanding of how it functions. For internal criticism, the evaluation process prioritizes identifying logical development, clarity, adequacy, and consistency of the theory.
The External Criticism Evaluation
On the other hand considers the relationship of ideas and their association with health, individuals, and nursing. It also has a critical role when it comes to the evaluation of the middle-range theory (Treiblmaier, 2018). The external criticism focuses on ensuring the components of the theory are person-centered to ensure that all involved parties participate in its implementation process (Tatebe et al., 2019).
The evaluation through external criticism also deeply highlights the theory’s reception and how it shapes the treatment process within a given community (Greer et al., 2018). In this section of the evaluation, the priority is t see whether the theory represents the real world of nursing.
For external evaluation, the criteria involve reality convergence, utility, complexity, discrimination significance, and scope of approach. With these criteria, the evaluation will directly address issues that directly connect the theory to the readers, and it captures the independency of application.
The middle-range theory’s significance in the application process depends largely on the extent to which it meets the external and internal criticisms after the evaluation. When the approach meets the reflections of evaluation based on the provided criteria, it enhances the credibility of the theory allowing better and more effective implementation in the nursing world and treatment presentation. After the evaluation, the theory can positively or negatively affect the nursing practice depending on how close or far off it gets to the internal or external criticism evaluation criteria.
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