Application of Theory to Research

Application of Theory to Research

Application of Theory to Research: Peplau’s Theory

Senn, J. (2013). Peplau’s Theory of Interpersonal Relations: Application in Emergency and Rural Nursing. Nursing Science Quarterly, 26(1):31-5

            This document insists that effective communication and interpersonal relationship bear positive fruits on the patients’ health whether she or he is in the emergency health department or public health. This is because the nurse-patient relationship promotes trust between the duos and better understanding. The patient feels that there is someone who knows but the illness that she or he is suffering from and can relate with what he or she is going through.

Peplau’s therapeutically interpersonal theory is not only used in treating of psychiatric patients but overall patients. In the health care education this theory is used in research, clinical practice, nursing education and clinical administration. It is included in nursing teaching curriculum as it aim at giving better results when providing treatment. The theory was ahead of time as today it is used in post-modern nursing. The knowledge of the nurse about a patient is a rich content of practicing. Application of Theory to Research

The classification of Peplau’s theory as a middle -range theory is as a result of the nurse having a positive relationship with the patient for the nurse to be of much benefit to the human kind. The theory focus on both psychological and interpersonal needs, although the theory cannot be applied on young children or a person with fatal altered mental health, the nurse can get useful data and come up with a good plan of care by establishing a good relationship with the families of the young children and the mentally ill patients’ families.


Peplau’s theory is one-dimensional unlike other nursing theories as it solely concentrates on the relationship between the nurse and the patient. Peplau emphasized that the term relation and relationship should not be used to refer to the same thing. The nurse-patient relationship should be seen as a process that has over-lapping phases which are; the orientation, working and termination phase. This in turn promotes favorable changes on the patient’s behavior as it defines heath as a forward movement of human processes and personality. The nurse use the nurse-patient relationship to access the patients emotional, psychological and spiritual requirement through the learned communication skills and personal strengths in the understanding of human behavior.

When the patient is convinced that the nurse is reliable and intelligent they develop some trust is built as it is through the nurse-patient relation that the nurse is able to empathize with the patient. This is the ability to associate with the meaning and feelings of the patient and communicate the understanding to the patient.

D’Antonio, P et al. (2014). The Future in the Past: Hildegard Peplau and Interpersonal Relations in Nursing. Nursing Inquiry

This article expounds on Peplau’s transformative idea which displays nursing as an interpersonal process at its core. This idea is seen to have some change in the discipline and is described as an idea that has guided towards some future refinement in the field of nursing. The article emphasizes interpersonal relations which move nurses from a reductionist focus on diseases and how they are treated to a wider perspective which includes the experiences of the illness on the individuals, families and the health system in which they express themselves. Even though the systems vary from country to country the Peplau’s ideas help all nurses in maintaining a steadfast focus on the set goals and priorities. Application of Theory to Research

In the 21st century, there are more exciting ideas on the structure and the function of the brain are being formulated. However, in social work, psychology, nursing, and medicine there are raising concerns on the teachings and research that are critical in relationship and behavior changes that have been overridden by the focus of on the biological experience of health and the illness. The importance of the nurse-patient relationship is still in the curricula. Researchers argue that the value of relationships must be restored in the process of behavior change that helps in maximizing health and establishing mutual engagement between the nurse and the patient. This leads to patient-centered care.

Peplau’s ideas came at a period of expansiveness. It was catalyzed by the concerns of the mental health of soldiers who were in the 2nd world war. New political energy, private and public coalition joined and focused on ensuring that nurses went through collegiate education to be at per with the new health care demand. Peplau’s formulation of interpersonal relations in nursing got its voice and audience in the new expectations and resources. The nurse’s relationship with the patient became a priority.

There are two sections of interpersonal relations, which are very important in nursing. Part 11 identifies the psychological experiences that the given patient have undergone and affect personalities of the patients or the nurses when relating with each other and part III that focuses on how an illness process can change the development process of both the nurse and the patient and can strengthen the yearn for personality development in both. This shows that Peplau҆s idea has a demand for both the patient and the nurse. This article has focused on how Peplau҆s ideas are timeless and can be applied by nurses to date when treating their patients by familiarizing with their illness experiences and the changes they have gone though.


Senn, J. (2013). Peplau’s Theory of Interpersonal Relations: Application in Emergency and Rural Nursing. Nursing Science Quarterly, 26(1):31-5

D’Antonio, P et al. (2014). The Future in the Past: Hildegard Peplau and Interpersonal Relations in Nursing. Nursing Inquiry.



Application of Theory to Research