Discussion # 1 :
Describe the internal and external criticism used to evaluate middle-range theories.
Middle-range theories are nursing theories found between grand nursing theories and specific concrete theories (Kislov et al.,2019). Before they are applied in research, middle-range theories go through internal and external criticism. External criticism refers to the evaluation of middle-range theory’s ability to predict and explain phenomena that exists in the real world. Internal theory, on the other hand, refers to the assessment of the logical coherence and consistency of a middle-range theory. Internal criticism also seeks to establish whether middle-range theories can generate testable hypotheses.
For external criticism of middle-range theories, researchers use empirical research to test the theory’s hypothesis. This is done using surveys, observational studies, and experiments to test the predictions that have been made using a middle-range theory. They also compare test results to the predictions to establish the accuracy of these middle-range theories. The degree to which middle-range theory predictions are contradicted or supported by research findings is considered. Researchers also assess the external validity of these theories by establishing the extent to which they can be generalized for other settings or populations. This is done by analyzing the external validity of the selected research design as well as the generalizability of the sample. The external validity of the measures used in the research process is also reviewed (Kislov et al.,2019). The practical utility of a middle-range theory is also assessed at this stage. Researchers will look into whether the said theory can be applied in practical scenarios in policy making. External criticism of a middle-range theory also involves analyzing its potential to be successfully applied to solve existing or potential real-world problems.
Discussion # 2 :
Evaluation of Middle-Range Nursing Theories
Evaluating the usefulness and applicability of a middle-range theory is crucial in determining its potential for use in research. The middle-range theories tend to be narrower than grand theories in terms of scope and deal with part of a discipline’s concerns related to a topic (Peterson & Bredow, 2019). Even though these theories are known to be useable due to their specificity as well as scope, it is important to test their adaptation to nursing research. Therefore, based on external and internal criticism, the middle range theories are sufficient in nursing research due to their clarity, logical development, consistency, and adequacy.
The coherence, structure, and understanding of middle-range theories are evaluated through internal criticism. Middle-range theories are considered relatively coherent to understand and implement. They are designed to be more specific and applicable to nursing practice than grand theories, which can be more abstract and difficult to understand (Risjord, 2019). This makes middle-range theories more accessible to nurses and other healthcare professionals, who can use them to guide their practice and make evidence-based decisions. Therefore, the middle-range theories can be adapted to research since they are coherent and can, therefore more specific and applicable in nursing research.