The Relationship Between Theory And Research

The Relationship Between Theory And Research

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Theory and research are inseparable. They duly depend on one another and one cannot exist without the other. The close connection between the two aspects was implied in the discussion of their functions and roles that they play to effect a practice. Theory development and formulation depends on the research and on the other hand research also relies on the availability of a theory for it to be effective. It can be deduced then that the relationship between the research and theory is dialectic since a theory will determine what data samples are to be collected for the research while research findings assist provide challenges to accepted theories (Brush, 2011).

In the nursing literature, research is vital and is a vehicle for the development of a theory.  It is commonly the method used to gather data that is needed for a theory to be developed (Smith, 2009). The phenomenon of interest will suggest the things to look at depending on whether the research exist to generate a theory. For example, in the case where the theory of the client’s perception or view of the factors affecting their adherence to a nursing care plan was to be generated. Probably one source of data will be client’s perception of why they were and able to follow the nursing care plan. While if the purpose is theory testing then the theory will dictates the data sample that is to be collected (Jensen, 2012).


The relationship between a research and theory is close and dependable to one another for effectiveness of the process (Hsieh, 2005). The data sample collected will depend on the research purpose and therefore will affect the theory and the perception that proceeds. The theory will therefore influence the decision that the nurses will take to effect the plan into practice. The research therefore will collect the data that will be needed to create a good and a better theory that will be able to enhance decision making process.

Work cited

Brush, B. L., Kirk, K., Gultekin, L., & Baiardi, J. M. (2011, July). Overcoming: A concept analysis. In Nursing Forum (Vol. 46, No. 3, pp. 160-168). Blackwell Publishing Inc.

Hsieh, H. F., & Shannon, S. E. (2005). Three approaches to qualitative content analysis. Qualitative health research, 15(9), 1277-1288.

Jensen, E. (2012). Linking theory, research, and practice. Evidence-based practice for nurses: Appraisal and application of research, 123-139.

Smith, K. B., Profetto-McGrath, J., & Cummings, G. G. (2009). Emotional intelligence and nursing: An integrative literature review. International journal of nursing studies, 46(12), 1624-1636.

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