Development of a Conceptual Framework to Guide a Program of Research Exploring Nurse-to-Nurse Communication


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Abstract

Research in nursing informatics has been described as problem based rather than theory guided. Furthermore, few examples exist in the literature where the process of theory development is described. This article describes a process used to develop a conceptual framework that supports a theory-driven program of research in nursing informatics. The conceptual framework combines Symbolic Interaction Theory and Information Theory. Constructs of Symbolic Interaction Theory (mind, self, and society) and Information Theory (entropy, negentropy, redundancy, probability, and noise) were then organized according to Gerbner’s Communication Model. Theory derivation was the method used for organizing abstract constructs and reducing them to a measurable level. Theory derivation was supplemented with initial research findings. The measurable or middle-range constructs were then organized in a meaningful manner for conceptual framework development. The use of theory derivation to develop a conceptual framework to support theory-driven nursing informatics research will be discussed. The framework entitled “Effective Nurse-to-Nurse Communication” that guides a program of research will then be presented.

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