Evaluation of Dorothea Orem Self-Care Deficit Theory

Theory Development

Dorothea Orem’s self-care nursing theory originates from the totality paradigm that is based on the ability of people to adapt to their environments. It is based on a philosophy that it is every patients’ wish to care for themselves. If they are allowed to carry out their own self-care, they will recover faster and more holistically. The major assumptions of this theory revolve around this philosophy. First, it assumes that individuals should be responsible and self-reliant in their care (Ali, 2018). They should also care for their family members who are in need of care. The theory assumes that people are distinct individuals. Nursing is according to this theory, an interaction between two or more individuals. Furthermore, this theory assumes that it is important for a person to be aware of any potential health problems they may face so as to promote self-care behavior. Finally, Orem assumes that dependent care and self-care are learned within socio-cultural contexts. Evaluation of Dorothea Orem Self-Care Deficit Theory

Theory Analysis

Orem defines several concepts under this theory. She defines nursing as an art, a technology, and a helping service.  Nurses select and take actions aimed at deliberately helping people or groups of people under their care in either maintaining the conditions in themselves and their environments or changing them. The theory defines health as being structurally and functionally sound. This involves both integrity and wholeness. It is what makes one human and is characterized together with psychophysiological and psychological mechanisms of a person. The environment is made up of enthronement elements, factors, and conditions. The nursing client or patient is a human being with a health-related or derived limitation that causes them to be unable to maintain continued self-care (McEwen, & Wills, 2019).

This theory is focused on the relationship between the dependent and the nurse. This relationship needs to be both interpersonal and must have efficient communication built into it. In the context of this theory, failure to adhere to the theory could put the patient’s life at stake. It may also result in a deficit of trust between the parties in question.


The application of this theory in nursing practice, research practice, and education is supported by research. The theory has proved effective in the teaching of patients on how to increase self-care. It is also useful in teaching them how to differentiate the nursing practice from medical care.  This theory has also been the focus of the nursing education curriculum in several schools of research. It has also been the conceptual backbone of many studies in nursing (McEwen & Wills, 2019).

Theory Support

            Olubiyi, et al. (2019), carry out a study seeking to assess the level of understanding of nurse’s application of Dorothea Orem’s theory as well as all the factors that affect or influence its application towards managing chronically ill individuals. The researcher would utilize a descriptive research design along with a total sampling method as means of getting a sample size of 105 nurses. The study involved gathering data by means of a self-structured questionnaire that was tested for reliability and validity through a pilot study that produced 0.778 using the Croabach Alpha method. The study went on to reveal that nurses have the necessary knowledge on the theory with a significant proportion of the participant nurses having applied the theory regularly in their practice.  According to the study, factors affecting the application of this theory were also highlighted. Nurses delivered holistic care throughout all levels of healthcare with special emphasis on the tertiary. It was however noted that more nurses were needed to facilitate the provision of holistic care. Furthermore, management would also need to make room for trainings and professional development programs aimed at updating the knowledge of nurses periodically so that they are able to care for their patients who are suffering from chronic illnesses thereby enhancing the quality of their lives, their social and personal welfare, and their functional capacity.

Tasneem, (2018) also supports Dorothea Orem’s Self-Care Deficit Theory. He discusses a 32 year old patient who was admitted to the intensive care unit with complaints of hepatitis and tubercloma. The patient was paralyzed, on CPAP and not oriented to person, time or place. The patient was therefore unable to perform any self-care activities. The patient was feeble and untidy in appearance. The application of Orem’s self-care deficit theory provided the conceptualization of the helping services that nurses that the patient required. They theory therefore serves as a general theory for all nurses engaged in nursing practice while also validating and developing the nursing knowledge in learning and teaching nursing thereby resulting in holistic care for patients such as the one in question.  Evaluation of Dorothea Orem Self-Care Deficit Theory


The theory in question encourages nurses to provide patients with holistic care. This form of care is meant to position patients to care for themselves. According to their theory, patients that are able to care for themselves not only recover faster and more holistically, but they will also tend to live better quality lives.


Ali, B. H. I. (2018). Application of Orem self-care deficit theory on psychiatric patient. Annals of Nursing and Practice5(1), 1-3.

McEwen, M., & Wills, E. M. (2019). Theoretical Basis for Nursing. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health.

Olubiyi, S. K., Ibitoye, O. F., Onasoga, O., Shaibu, E. O., Ibitoye, B., & Nyamngee, A. (2019). Nurses’ application of Dorothea Orem’s Self Care Theory towards Management of chronically-ill Patients at University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Kwara State.

Tasneem, S. (2018). Application of Dorothea Orem Theory of Self Care for Patients with Chronic Illnesses; A Case Study Report.

Criteria Evaluation
Theory Development
Theorist worldview  
Influence by…  
Definitions of concepts  
Focus of theory  
Theory Analysis
Scope of concepts  
Theory Support
Data from testing concepts  
Ability to generalize to other practice area  

This table is a shortcut to writing a paper on this analysis, but it is still considered a scholarly, formal assignment. Do NOT cut and paste from resources that may have already done this. Your analysis should be in full sentences with most of the wording from your interpretation of information from your resources. You may put important titles or phrases from other authors in quotes and cite the source.

 Note: Please remove all instructions and include as an APA Style table in your paper in addition to the body and references list. See APA 7th edition resources for Table style requirements.

Select one nursing model or theory from one of the theorists presented in your reading assignment (preferably one you did not use in your BSN program). In a brief introduction describe why the selected theory or framework is of interest to the writer.

Conduct an analysis and evaluation of the selected theory on the table provided in Blackboard. nclude it in an APA Style paper with body, references page, and table style.) APA Style table includes brief conclusion, assess how practical it would be to implement in today’s environment. include a title page, running head, body(including table), and references list. In addition to course textbook(s) and resources provided, you are required to cite a minimum of two additionaloutside scholarly sources published within the last five years to support your analysis and summation.That is at least three to four resources depending on the week’s readings.

Evaluation of Dorothea Orem Self-Care Deficit Theory






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