NU 500 Unit 6 – Theory & Practice

Unit 6 – Theory & Practice

Article Link – Self-conscious emotions in patients suffering from chronic musculoskeletal pain: A brief report.

Full text is on Herzing Library. 

Article Presentation

This week, I chose to pick an article on a topic that relates to all areas of nursing: pain. My article for this week examines how emotions play a role in chronic pain, and patient’s perceptions of pain based on their emotions. The article did a study with various questionnaires on pain, and then on emotional circumstances, and it was found that patients with chronic pain have a “greater level of shame, guilt, fear of negative evaluation and mental defeat,” (Turner-Cobb, Michalaki, & Osborn, 2015, p. 498). This can be viewed as very detrimental to patients because they view themselves as potentially inferior to the rest of the population due to an illness they have to live with every day. Many people who do not have chronic pain really do not understand how the pain feels, and it can be numbing.

The nursing theory that I am applying this article to is Jean Watson’s Theory of Caring. I chose this theory because the theory focuses on the promotion of health and promotes disease treatment (Wayne, 2016). If Watson’s caring theory is applied to the patients with chronic pain and emotional distress and those patients are more taken care of, not only could their emotional pain be less, but their chronic pain could also decrease. It seems that chronic pain is an area that is not really researched very often. Some may say chronic pain is chronic pain and there is nothing we can do about it. Clearly, chronic pain brings many other concerns up, such as emotional and mental health. More research needs to be done on chronic pain and emotional health, and Watson’s theory of caring can be applied to do so. Nursing can provide the care to the patients via caring theory and improve emotional health and potentially pain in chronic pain patients.

Theory & Research in Nursing

Theory in nursing is used to develop practices and in turn improve outcomes of health and well-being for patients. Theories are used in healthcare so that nursing and other health care professionals are able to prioritize what is most important for patient’s concerns, and problem solve more quickly. Theory allows health care to make decisions that will give patients the best outcomes and better quality of life (McEwen & Wills, 2019). Research is linked to theory because theories are based on countless hours of research, and that research created the theories most helpful and relevant to today’s nursing practice and healthcare. When I was in undergrad, I took a nursing research theory. To be honest, I do not remember anything about it, because I thought a lot of the content was irrelevant to what was actually important in nursing. The textbook points out a similar situation, in that many nurses do not reference nursing theory concepts, diagnoses, or processes, and this contributes to the nursing-theory gap (McEwen & Wills, 2019). Even in my practice now and current nursing position, I rarely reference nursing theories or ever think about research. I admit I am not helping the theory-research-practice gap, but I now realize the importance of knowing about theory and research, in order to give patient’s optimal healthcare.


McEwen, M., & Wills, E. M. (2019). Theoretical basis for nursing (5th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Turner-Cobb, J. M., Michalaki, M., & Osborn, M. (2015). Self-conscious emotions in patients suffering from chronic musculoskeletal pain: A brief report. Psychology & Health, 30(4), 495-501. 

Wayne, G. (2016, January 5). Jean Watson’s theory of human caring. Retrieved from