Empirical Verification of Swanson’s Caring Processes Found in Nursing Actions: Systematic Review


Caring has long been recognized as central to nursing and is increasingly posited as a core concept although developing a theoretical description of caring which is adequate in the 21st. century continues to be a difficult task for nursing scholars. Consequently, verifying existing theoretical structures of caring remains an ongoing challenge. The aim of this article is to provide empirical verification of the caring processes of “knowing,” “being with,” “doing for,” “enabling” and “maintaining belief” from Swanson’s Middle Range Caring Theory based on the categorization of nursing actions from a systematic literature review on care. Methods: A systematic literature review was conducted in the fields of nursing sciences, medicine and psychology. Purposeful sampling was carried out covering a period from 2003-2013. The final sample included 25 articles. Results: Major themes of nursing actions included “knowing” which consisted of centering, nurturing, informed understanding, assessment skills, communication and respect for individual differences. “Being with” was characterized by intimate relationship, connecting, presencing, emotional adaptability awareness of self/other and decentering. “Doing for” included competence, knowledge, professional/technical skills, helping actions, anticipatory, multidisciplinary and preserving dignity. “Enabling” was characterized by self care, commitment, complexity of care, appropriate communication, information/education, sharing power, enabling choice and ongoing validation. Finally, “maintaining belief” was characterized by spiritual being, humanistic view, harmonious balance, hope, love, and compassion, meaning, and religious and spiritual orientation. Conclusion: Empirical verification was shown for the caring processes described in Swanson’s Caring Theory grounded in concrete nursing actions.

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Kalfoss, M. and Owe, J. (2015) Empirical Verification of Swanson’s Caring Processes Found in Nursing Actions: Systematic Review. Open Journal of Nursing, 5, 976-986. doi: 10.4236/ojn.2015.511104.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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