Unitary Human Beings nursing theory.

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Chapter 14

Martha E. Rogers’ Science of Unitary Human Beings

Developed by D.J. Dunn (2010)

Updated by D. Gullett (2014)

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On completion of this chapter, students will be able to:

Identify and discuss the historical, educational, and personal information relevant to Martha Rogers’ life as a nurse theorist.

Categorize and define the terminology consistent with the Science of Unitary Human Beings nursing theory.

Discuss the application and operationalization of Rogers’ theory to nursing research and practice.

Identify research questions that would be appropriate to a Rogerian framework.

Articulate the theoretical developments that have emerged from Rogers’ initial work.

Suggest appropriate areas of focus for Rogerian inquiry.

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Unique Focus of Nursing

  • Rogers (1994a) identified the unique focus of nursing as “the irreducible human being and its environment, both identified as energy fields” (p 33).
  • “Human” encompasses both Homo sapiens and Homo spatialis, the evolutionary transcendence of humankind as we voyage into space, and environment encompasses outer space.
  • This perspective necessitates a new worldview, out of which emerges the Science of Unitary Human Beings, “a pandimensional view of people and their world” (Rogers, 1992/1994, p 257).

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Postulates of Rogerian Nursing Science

  • Energy fields
  • Openness
  • Pattern
  • Pandimensionality (formerly called both four-dimensionality and multidimensionality)

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Pattern and Field

  • Pattern manifestations and characteristics are specific to the whole.
  • Because human and environmental fields are integral with each other, they cannot be separated.
  • They are always in mutual process.

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Pandimensional Fields

  • The fields are pandimensional, defined as “a non-linear domain without spatial or temporal attributes” (Rogers, 1992, p 28).
  • Pandimensional reality transcends traditional notions of space and time, which can be understood as perceived boundaries only.

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Pattern

  • Rogers (1992, 1994a) described pattern as changing continuously while giving identity to each unique human-environmental field process.
  • Although pattern is an abstraction, not something that can be observed directly, “it reveals itself through its manifestations” (Rogers, 1992, p 29).

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Principles of Homeodynamics

  • Like adaptation, homeostasis—maintaining balance or equilibrium—is an outdated concept in the worldview represented in Rogerian nursing science.
  • Rogers chose “homeodynamics” to convey the dynamic, ever-changing nature of life and the world.
  • Her three principles of homeodynamics-resonancy, heliacy, and integrality-describe the nature of change in the human-environmental field.

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Resonancy

  • Resonancy specifies the “continuous change from lower to higher frequency wave patterns in human and environmental fields” (Rogers, 1990a, p 9).
  • Resonancy presents the way change occurs.

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Helicy

  • Helicy is the “continuous innovative, unpredictable, increasing diversity of human and environmental field patterns” (Rogers, 1990a, p 8).
  • This principle describes the nature of change.

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Integrality

  • Integrality is “continuous mutual human field and environmental field process” (Rogers, 1990a, p 8).
  • It specifies the context of change as the integral human-environmental field process in which person and environment are inseparable.

Resonancy-Helicy-Integrality

  • Together, the principles suggest that the mutual patterning process of human and environmental fields changes continuously, innovatively, and unpredictably, flowing in lower and higher frequencies.
  • Rogers (1990a, p 9) believed that they serve as guides both to the practice of nursing and to research in the science of nursing.

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Theories Derived from the SUHB

  • Rogers clearly stated her belief that multiple theories can be derived from the Science of Unitary Human Beings.
  • They are specific to nursing and reflect not what nurses do, but an understanding of people and our world (Rogers, 1992).

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Selected Rogerian Theories

  • In addition to the processes of the unitary pattern–based practice method, a number of Rogerian theories have been developed that are useful in informing the pattern manifestation knowing and appreciation and voluntary mutual patterning processes.

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Theory of Accelerating Change

  • The theory of accelerating change suggests that the only “norm” is accelerating change.
  • Higher frequency field patterns that manifest growing diversity open the door to wider ranges of experiences and behaviors, calling into question the very idea of “norms” as guidelines.
  • Human and environmental field rhythms are speeding up.

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Theory of Emergence of Paranormal Phenomena

  • The theory of the emergence of paranormal phenomena suggests that experiences commonly labeled “paranormal” are actually manifestations of the changing diversity and innovation of field patterning.
  • They are pandimensional forms of awareness, examples of pandimensional reality that manifest visionary, beyond waking potentials.

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Manifestations of Field Patterning

  • Rogers’ third theory, Rhythmical Correlates of Change, was changed to Manifestations of Field Patterning in Unitary Human Beings.
  • Rogers suggested that evolution is an irreducible, nonlinear process characterized by increasing diversity of field patterning.
  • She offered some manifestations of this relative diversity, including the rhythms of motion, time experience, and sleeping-waking, encouraging others to suggest further examples.

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The Theory of Kaleidoscoping in Life’s Turbulence (Butcher, 1993)

  • Focuses on facilitating well-being and harmony amid turbulent life events. Turbulence is a dissonant commotion in the human–environmental field characterized by chaotic and unpredictable change. Any crisis may be viewed as a turbulent event in the life process.

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Rogerian Science: Practice

  • The goal of nursing practice is the promotion of well-being and human betterment.
  • Nursing is a service to people wherever they may reside.
  • Nursing practice—the art of nursing—is the creative application of substantive scientific knowledge developed through logical analysis, synthesis, and research.

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Rogerian View: Nursing Process

  • Nursing diagnoses are particularistic and reductionistic labels describing cause and effect (i.e., “related to”) relationships inconsistent with “nonlinear domain without spatial and temporal attributes (Rogers, 1992, p 29).

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Rogerian View: Nursing Process

  • The nursing process is a stepwise sequential process inconsistent with a nonlinear or pandimensional view of reality.
  • In addition, the term “intervention” is not consistent with Rogerian science.

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Rogerian View: Nursing Process

  • Outcomes are also inconsistent with Rogers’ principle of helicy: that expected outcomes infer predictability.
  • The principle of helicy describes the nature of change as being unpredictable.
  • Within an energy field perspective, nurses in mutual process assist clients in actualizing their field potentials by enhancing their ability to participate knowingly in change (Butcher, 1997).

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Rogerian View: Nursing Process

  • Given the inconsistency of the traditional nursing process with Rogers’ postulates and principles, the Science of Unitary Human Beings requires the development of new and innovative practice methods derived from and consistent with the conceptual system.

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Barrett’s Rogerian Practice Method

  • Barrett’s two-phase Rogerian practice methodology for health patterning is the accepted alternative to the nursing process for Rogerian practice and is currently the most widely used Rogerian practice model.

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Elizabeth Barrett’s Rogerian Practice Method

  • Barrett’s (1988) practice model was derived from the Science of Unitary Human Beings and consisted of two phases:
  • Pattern manifestation appraisal
  • Deliberative mutual patterning

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Richard Cowling’s Rogerian Practice Constituents

  • Cowling (1990) proposed a template comprising 10 constituents for the development of Rogerian practice models.

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The Unitary Pattern–Based Praxis Method

  • Butcher (1997, 1999a, 2001) synthesized Cowling’s Rogerian practice constituents with Barrett’s practice method to develop a more inclusive and comprehensive practice model.
  • The unitary pattern-based practice method consists of two nonlinear and simultaneous processes:
  • Pattern manifestation appreciation and knowing, and
  • Voluntary mutual patterning

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Unitary Pattern–Based Practice

Unitary pattern–based practice

  • begins by creating an atmosphere of openness and freedom so clients can freely participate in the process of knowing participation in change

Approaching the nursing situation with an appreciation of the uniqueness of each person, unconditional love, compassion, and empathy can help create an atmosphere of openness and healing patterning.

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Unitary Pattern–Based Practice (continued)

  • A unitary perspective in nursing practice leads to an appreciation of new kinds of information that may not be considered within other conceptual approaches to nursing practice.
  • The nurse is open to using multiple forms of knowing including pandimensional modes of awareness (intuition, meditative insights, tacit knowing) throughout the pattern manifestation knowing and appreciation process.

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Unitary Pattern–Based Practice (cont)

  • The pattern manifestation knowing and appreciation is enhanced through the nurse’s ability to grasp meaning, create a meaningful connection, and participate knowingly in the client’s change process (Butcher, 1999a).

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Unitary Pattern–Based Practice (cont)

Voluntary mutual patterning

  • process of transforming human/environmental field patterning.
  • facilitate each client’s ability to participate knowingly in change
  • harmonize person/environment integrality
  • promote healing potentialities, lifestyle changes, and well-being in the client’s desired direction of change without attachment to predetermined outcomes

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Unitary Pattern–Based Practice (cont)

  • The process is mutual in that both the nurse and the client are changed with each encounter, each patterning one another and co-evolving together.
  • Evaluation is continuous and is integral both to pattern manifestation knowing and appreciation and to voluntary mutual patterning.
  • The nurse is continuously evaluating changes in patterning emerging from the human/environmental field mutual process.

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Science of Unitary Human Beings Research

  • Research is the bedrock of nursing practice.
  • As new practice theories and health patterning modalities evolve from the SUHB there remains a need to test the viability and usefulness of Rogerian theories and voluntary health patterning strategies

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Science of Unitary Human Beings Research

  • Some debate among Rogerian scholars and researchers concerning the choice of an appropriate methodology in Rogerian research.
  • Rogers (1994) maintained that both quantitative and qualitative methods may be useful for advancing Rogerian science.

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Research

  • The nature of the question and the phenomena under investigation should guide the selection
  • Rogers cautioned that neither is totally adequate for the new worldview and encouraged the development of new methods.

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Potential Rogerian Research Designs

  • Cowling (1986) was among the first to suggest a number of research designs that may be appropriate for Rogerian research, including philosophical, historical, and phenomenological ones.
  • Qualitative and/or phenomenological methodology has demonstrated increasing congruence with Roger’s SUHB; whereas, the assumptions of causality in quantitative methodology is a bit more problematic

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Selecting a Focus of Rogerian Inquiry

  • In selecting a focus of inquiry, concepts that are congruent with the Science of Unitary Human Beings are most relevant.
  • The focus of inquiry flows from the postulates, principles, and concepts relevant to the conceptual system.

Selecting a Focus of Rogerian Inquiry (continued)

  • Guided imagery
  • Therapeutic touch
  • Humor
  • Sound
  • Dialogue
  • Affirmations
  • Music
  • Massage
  • Journaling
  • Exercise
  • Nutrition
  • Reminiscence
  • Aroma, light, color, artwork
  • Meditation
  • Storytelling, literature, poetry,
  • Movement and dance

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Measuring of Rogerian Concepts

  • Human Field Motion Test (HFMT)
  • The Power of Knowing Participation in Change Tool (PKPCT)
  • Diversity of Human Field Pattern Scale (DHFPS)
  • Assessment of Dream Experience Scale
  • Temporal Experience Scale

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Rogerian Inquiry

  • Creativity, mystical experiences, transcendence, sleeping-beyond-waking experiences, time experience, and paranormal experiences as they relate to human health and well-being are also of interest in this science.

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Rogerian Process of Inquiry

Carboni (1995b) developed the Unitary Process of Inquiry-

  • Evolution centered and focuses on changing configurations of human and environmental field patterning
  • Pandimensional Unitary Process Report-special criteria for trustworthiness to ensure scientific rigor

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Rogerian Process of Inquiry

Butcher (1994, 1996, 1998, & 2005) the Unitary Field Pattern Protrait Research Method (UFPP)

  • Create a unitary understanding of the dynamic kaleidoscopic and symphonic pattern manifestations emerging from the pandimensional human/environmental field mutual process
  • Part of the Unitary Pattern-based Praxis Method
  • There are eight essential aspects and three essential processes in the method.

UFPP (continued)

Essential Aspects

  • Initial engagement
  • A priori nursing science
  • Immersion
  • Manifestations of knowing and appreciation
  • The unitary field pattern profile
  • The unitary field pattern portrait
  • Theoretical unitary field pattern portrait

Essential Processes

  • Creative Pattern Synthesis
  • Immersion and Crystallization
  • Evolutionary Interpretation

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Rogerian Science in the Future

  • There is an ever-growing body of literature demonstrating the application of Rogerian science to practice and research.
  • Rogers’ nursing science is applicable in all nursing situations.
  • Rather than focusing on disease and cellular biological processes, the Science of Unitary Human Beings focuses on human beings as irreducible wholes that are inseparable from their environment.

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Practice

  • Rogers identified noninvasive modalities as the basis for nursing practice now and in the future.
  • Nurses must use “nursing knowledge in non-invasive ways in a direct effort to promote well-being” (Rogers, 1994a, p 34).
  • This focus gives nurses a central role in health care rather than medical care.
  • Noted that health services should be community based, not hospital based.

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Toward the Future

  • The Science of Unitary Human Beings reflects Rogers’ optimism and hope for the future.
  • Envisioned humankind poised “on the threshold of a fantastic and unimagined future” (Rogers, 1992, p 33), looking toward space while simultaneously engaging in a transformative Rogerian revolution in health care on Earth.
  • Goal: Establishment of autonomous Rogerian nursing centers here on Earth and ultimately in space.

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References

Barrett, E. A. M. (1998). A Rogerian practice methodology for health patterning. Nursing Science Quarterly, 11, 136–138.

Butcher, H. K. (1993). Kaleidoscoping in life’s turbulence: From Seurat’s art to Rogers’ nursing science. In: M. E. Parker

(Ed.), Patterns of nursing theories in practice (pp. 183–198). New York: National League for Nursing.

Butcher, H. K. (1994). The unitary field pattern portrait method: Development of research method within Rogers’

science of unitary human beings. In M. Madrid & E. A. M. Barrett (Eds.), Rogers’ scientific art of nursing practice (pp.

397–425). New York: National League for Nursing.

Butcher, H. K. (1996). A unitary field pattern portrait of dispiritedness in later life. Visions: The Journal of Rogerian

Nursing Science, 4, 41–58.

Butcher, H. K. (1997a). Energy field disturbance. In G. K. McFarland & E. A. McFarlane, (Eds.), Nursing diagnosis and intervention (3rd ed., pp. 22–33). St. Louis, MO: Mosby.

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References (cont)

Butcher, H.K. (1997b). A unitary field pattern portrait of dispiritedness in later life. Visions: The Journal of

Rogerian Nursing Science, 4, 41-58.

Butcher, H. K. (1999a). The artistry of Rogerian practice. Visions: The Journal of Rogerian Nursing Science, 7, 49–

54.

Butcher, H. K. (2001). Nursing science in the new millennium: Practice and research within Rogers’ science of

unitary human beings. In: M. Parker (Ed.), Nursing theories and nursing practice (pp. 205–226). Philadelphia:

F. A. Davis.

Butcher, H. K. (2005). The unitary field pattern portrait research method: Facets, processes and findings.

Nursing Science Quarterly, 18, 293–297.

Carboni, J. T. (1995b). A Rogerian process of inquiry. Nursing Science Quarterly, 8, 22–37.

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References (cont)

Cowling, W. R. (1986). The science of unitary human beings: Theoretical issues, methodological challenges, and

research realities. In: V. M. Malinski (Ed.), Explorations on Martha Rogers’ science of unitary human beings

(pp. 65–78). Norwalk, CT: Appleton-Century-Crofts.

Cowling, W. R. (1990). A template for unitary pattern-based nursing practice. In: E. A. Barrett (Ed.), Visions of

Rogers’ science-based nursing (pp. 45–65). New York: National League for Nursing.

Rogers, M. E. (1990a). Nursing: Science of unitary, irreducible human beings: Update 1990. In Barrett, E. A. M.

(Ed.), Visions of Rogers’ science-based nursing (pp. 5–11). New York: National League for Nursing.

Rogers, M. E. (1992). Nursing and the space age. Nursing Science Quarterly, 5, 27–34.

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References (cont)

Rogers, M. E. (1994a). The science of unitary human beings: Current perspectives. Nursing Science

Quarterly, 7, 33–35.

Rogers, M. E. (1994b). Nursing science evolves. In: M. Madrid & E. A. M. Barrett (Eds.), Rogers’ scientific art of

nursing practice (pp. 3–9). New York: National League for Nursing.