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An examination of assessment tools in relation to Watson's theory of human caring - Research Paper Example

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Caring Tools that expand the abilities of nurses to assess and evaluate clients in the various stages of health, illness and stress are particularly an important part of the knowledge that nurses should have and ultimately impact on the quality of healthcare…
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An examination of assessment tools in relation to Watsons theory of human caring
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An examination of assessment tools in relation to Watson's theory of human caring

Caring Tools that expand the abilities of nurses to assess and evaluate clients in the various stages of health, illness and stress are particularly an important part of the knowledge that nurses should have and ultimately impact on the quality of healthcare. Besides this, Watson’s theory of human caring enables nurses to integrate mind-body-spirit dimensions of assessment tools hence delivering better services to patients. The advent of evidence-based practice means that the use of assessment tools is influenced by the data available on them in terms of cost, length, ease of use and suited populations. When using such data, it is also important to evaluate its validity to ensure that the correct assessment tools are utilized. This study will investigate all these aspects focusing on three assessment tools; Dysfunctional Attitude Scale, Health Self-Determination Index (HSDI) and the Spiritual Perspective Scale. The impact of these tools on assessment phase and quality care provided by nurses will be evaluated followed by their application to homeless individuals. Assessment Tools Dysfunctional Attitude Scale (DAS) This is an assessment tool that was developed to measure the pervasive/silent maladaptive cognitive vulnerability exhibited by depressed individuals (Antony and Barlow, 2010). It is based on the view that such depressed individuals bear negative attitudes with regard to life and this can be analyzed through determining the views of an individual to self, world and future. This is what is usually referred to as the cognitive triad that can be used to tell apart depressed from non-depressed individuals based on their pessimism. The Dysfunctional Attitude Scale is a self-report 7-point likert scale that measures the occurrence of attitudes that portray underlying dysfunctions and how intense such attitudes are (Weissman and Beck, 1978 cited in Graaf et al., 2009). The original Dysfunction Attitude Scale was based on 100 items but was later simplified into DAS-A and DAS-B parallel forms that contain 40 items only. The result of this is that the DAS test is an inexpensive, easy to perform and relatively short undertaking. Graaf et al. (2009) performed DAS on populations whose demographic factors significantly correlated with depression including the unemployed individuals, individuals who were occupationally disabled and individuals with low levels of education. The dysfunctional attitudes measured among such populations include attitudinal approval, entitlement and achievement which perfectly interrelate with the mind-body-spirit dimensions as put forward by Watson hence resulting in a better assessment by nurses translating to better treatment. In terms of reliability and validity of the evidence, Graaf et al. (2009) and many other researchers have performed psychometric experimental studies on DAS and generated reliable and valid results. This is demonstrated through correlation analyses and actual distinction between individuals with and without depression hence the DAS is safe for application in clinical practice. DAS is particularly important as a tool for nurses during the assessment stage as it allows the nurse to get a grip of the major underlying factors behind depressed individuals and as a result aid in the proper interventional measures for example through pharmacopsychotherapy that will deal with both biomedical aspects and psychological aspects of illness. Perceived Stress Scale Cohen, Kamarck and Marmelstein (1983, cited in Peters, 2007) designed a measurement of the level to which individuals perceived their life situations as being stressful in terms of unpredictability, overload and inability to control. It uses 14 items in a likert scale with responses ranked as “never” to “very often.” Seven of the items in the scale are positive and through the test the level of self-perceived stress can be ... Read More
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