How to write a Critical Appraisal of Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring

How to write a Critical Appraisal of Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring

 Critical Appraisal

The article by Ozan & Okumus (2017) evaluates nursing care based on human care theory by Watson on coping, distress and anxiety when infertility treatment fails. Failure of infertility treatment is the root of many social, familial and individual problems. The study is a randomized control trial. It evaluates the impact of the nursing model on individuals with failed infertility testing. The population being exposed to the intervention is those with failed infertility treatment. And the intervention is Watson’s human care theory. The study was conducted from April to November.  A sample size of 89 individuals was used for the study: 41 in the control group and 45 in the intervention group. Follow-up was conducted on thirty five women from the control group and thirty two infertile women from the intervention group.  Tools used in collecting data include distress scale coping questionnaire, and State Anxiety inventory. The researchers used SPSS version 13 to analyze the data collected from the collection tools.

The results of the study revealed a variance in the control and the intervention group—the mean anxiety of the intervention group reduced by thirteen points while the distress by fourteen points. Additionally, the coping scale for the intervention group increased.  There was a negative increase in coping values in the control group depending on the nature of the failure of treatment.  The article conducted the results following the ethical guidelines of human subjects.  Participation was voluntary, and individuals were expected to sign an informed consent before being recruited as participants. There was no coercion of the subjects. The research obtained ethical approval from The Non-Invasive Studies Ethical Council of Dokuz Eylul in January 2011.

The article has various strengths and limitations.  The study possesses various limitations. First, the research did not evaluate couples who came together for treatment. The nature of the support given to the participant by their couples can determine how they cope with the failed infertility treatment.  Those couples who remain strong and supportive towards the situation are likely not to be distressed for long periods. The researchers needed to consider the support system from couples as one of the major variables. Secondly, a small number of infertile women were selected for the study. This made it difficult to generalize findings to other women across the globe. Thirdly the nature of the study is also a weakness. The study did not consider women who began treatment the following months after treatment failure.  These individuals need to be involved to avoid failure.  The strength of the study includes the study design. The study design was convenient for the researchers as it establishes the impact of an intervention on a control group. The systemic search of information for the literature review was thorough.

The research was published fairly recently (2017) hence provides up to date scientific evidence-based findings that can assist nurses in caring for the patient. The researchers have not included their thoughts and view. All the data collected are from real participants, increasing the objectivity of the study. Additionally, the research utilizes scholarly and evidence-based research as a reference making the study reliable.

The study is a useful tool for nurses and other healthcare practitioners.  Nurses who intend to use the theory can utilize the study to guide their practice. They can also help their patients in coping with stress and anxiety related to various treatment outcomes. The article can help the nurse understand how to utilize various tools that can be used to analyze stress in patients. It has guidelines for using coping inventory, distress scale and Spiel Berger’s State-Trait anxiety scale. According to the article, the theory of human caring focuses on caring rather than treatment-centeredness. Thus nurses can use the article in providing client-centered care to the patient to improve the safety and outcomes of care. The research can also be used in policy formulation by healthcare organizations. They can integrate into their healthcare protocols to increase the outcome of care in the specific healthcare organization.

The study recommends the utilization of human care theory for patients with infertility treatment failure. Failure infertility treatment often leaves the mother distressed and can destroy their relationships (Pajnkihar et al., 2017). This will allow healthcare practitioners to assist the patient in case of any treatment failure. They will be able to provide a caring environment to the women and help them cope with the situation effectively. Failure to cope can be the cause of poor health and wellbeing.

The study has implications for further studies. Firstly, it can allow other researchers to examine the impact of the caring model on other diseases and conditions. Secondly, researchers will also need to conduct the same study while incorporating social support in treatment failure and effective coping.  Thirdly researchers can also include women who come for retreatment following one month of a treatment failure. This will allow for less data loss. Finally, the number of participants can be increased to allow easy generalization of the findings.



Ozan, Y. D., & Okumuş, H. (2017). Effects of nursing care based on Watson’s theory of human caring on anxiety, distress, and coping, when infertility treatment fails: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Caring Sciences6(2), 95.

Pajnkihar, M., McKenna, H. P., Stigler, G., & Vrbnjak, D. (2017). Fit for practice: analysis and evaluation of Watson’s theory of human caring. Nursing science quarterly30(3), 243-252.

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