An analysis and evaluation of Watson's theory of human care.
Despite a high priority placed on theory-testing in nursing, there continues to be minimal research undertaken which adequately tests nursing theories. A study was planned to contribute to theory-testing in nursing by testing an aspect of Watson's (1988) theory of human care. Watson essentially believes that nursing is an intersubjective human process and places a high value on the caring relationship between the nurse and the recipient of care. Before proceeding with the intended study, the following analysis and evaluation of Watson's theory presented here was undertaken, with guidance from a tool developed by Fawcett & Downs (1992). In this tool, the analysis identifies the concepts and propositions that make up the theory and the evaluation includes the criteria of significance, internal consistency, parsimony, testability and empirical adequacy of the theory being tested. Overall, this analysis and evaluation found two areas of Watson's work which were in need of further development.