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Martha Rogers Science of Unitary Human Beings Susie Clabots


Martha Rogers Science of Unitary Human Beings Susie Clabots, Kristi Eilers, Liz Hopewell, Sarah Kline, Robin Simmons Background Diploma in nursing, 1936 Bachelor of ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Martha Rogers Science of Unitary Human Beings Susie Clabots

Martha RogersScience of Unitary Human Beings
  • Susie Clabots, Kristi Eilers, Liz Hopewell, Sarah
    Kline, Robin Simmons

  • Diploma in nursing, 1936
  • Bachelor of Science degree, 1937
  • MSN from Teachers College, 1945
  • Doctorate degree in science at John Hopkins
    University, 1954
  • Public Health Nurse
  • Visiting Nurse
  • Head of Nursing, NYU

  • Evolutionary theory
  • General systems theory
  • Physics
  • Adaptation
  • More specifically, her love of science fiction
  • Music (Meleis, 2007)

Central Questions
  • 1. What is the focus of nursing?
  • 2. What knowledge gives
  • nursing an identity?
  • 3. Who is the nursing client?
  • 4. What is the relationship between man and
  • 5. What are the phenomena of concern in
  • 6. What knowledge is needed to develop the
    science of nursing?

Four Basic Concepts (Meleis, 2007)
  • Energy fields
  • Openness
  • Pattern
  • Four-dimensionality

Energy Fields
  • Fundamental unit of living and non-living.
  • Energy refers to dynamic nature, i.e., continuous
    motion or change.
  • Infinite.
  • Humans and environment do not HAVE energy fields.

  • Openness is a characteristic of both humans and
  • Transcend time and space.
  • The energy fields of man and environment are
    integral with one another.

  • Characteristics of an energy field perceived as a
    single wave (pg 235).
  • Refers only to an energy field (man and
  • Changes continuously.

  • Energy fields (man and environment) are not bound
    by time or space.
  • Also referred to as pandimensionality

Important Definitions
  • Unitary Her theory is called the science of
    Unitary Human Beings. Unitary refers to being a
    whole which cannot be broken down into parts, or
  • Nursing While the energy fields of man and
    environment are outside of time, nursing takes
    place along a space-time continuum (Meleis, 2007).

Essence of Theory
  • The energy field of the human being interacts
    with the energy field environment. (The human
    being and the environment cannot be understood in
    isolation of each other).
  • Nursing Client Human beings-environment energy
    fields relationship.
  • Nursing therapeutics Repatterning of man and
    environment for more effective fulfillment of
    lifes capabilities (Meleis, 2007).

Environment Energy Field
Human Being Energy Field
Clinical Applications
  • Others have expanded on Rogers theory.
  • Use of an assessment framework
  • Living in the Relative Present
  • Experiencing comfort from past/present
  • Shared Communication
  • Sense of Rhythm
  • Connection to Environment
  • Sense of Self-Identity

Clinical Applications (cont.)
  • Creation of Nursing Diagnoses
  • Disturbed Energy Field
  • Nursing Interventions
  • Therapeutic Touch
  • Meditation/Imagery
  • Light, Color and Music Therapy

Marthas You Tube Video
  • http//

Evolution of Science of Unitary Human Beings
  • 1970 Rogers describes principles of
    homeodynamics as reciprocity, synchrony,
    helicy, and resonancy.
  • Rogers identifies people as the central
    phenomenon of interest to nursing.
  • Rogers describes characteristics of humans to
    be unified wholes, continually exchanging energy
    with the environment.
  • 1986 Ferences Field Motion Test (Research)
  • Barretts Human Field Power Test
  • Newmans Theory of Health as Expanding
    Consciousness (Theory)
  • 1992 Rogers principles change to integrality,
    helicy, and resonancy.
  • Rogers modifies characteristics to be human and
    environmental energy fields, openness, pattern,
    and pandimensionality.

Evolution of Science of Unitary Human Beings
  • 1997 Carbonis Rogerian Process of Inquiry
  • Bultemeiers Photo-Disclosure Method (Research)
  • 1998 Parses Human Becoming Theory (Theory)
  • Barretts Health Patterning (Practice)
  • 2005 Butchers Unitary Field Pattern Portrait
  • Cowlings Unitary Appreciative Inquiry (Practice)

Nursing Theory Pioneer
Identified people and the world they live in
as the core focus of nursing (Fawcett,
1995). Focus on patterns and repatterning.
Introduced concept of energy to nursing theory
(Meleis, 2007). Emphasized nursing as a
unique empirical science. Advocated
nursing-specific body of knowledge.
Scope of the Science of Unitary Human Beings
  • Relatable to ADLs and daily human needs (Meleis,
  • Inspiration for environment-patient
    interactionist theories and practice methods.
  • Therapeutic touch
  • Barrets theory of power as knowing
    participation in change (Malinski, 2006)
  • Zahoureks theory of intentionality (Malinski,

Increasing Popularity of Rogers Theory
  • Nursing focus on holism
  • Empowers the patient and the professional nurse
    as agents for change
Conceptual Problems
  • This is a theory whose complexity of the
    primitive concepts has undermined the clarity of
    the relationship between the concepts as well as
    the boundaries Meleis, p. 404.
  • Overly esoteric one is also faced with the
    limitations of the existing English language in
    describing pandimensionality of a human being
    field and the influence of the tremendous
    acceleration of change on humanity. (Rogers,
  • Vague definitions leading to debate even
    among Rogerian scholars. Example the TT HEF
    (human energy field) vs. the Rogerian HEF.

Conceptual Problems (cont.)
  • Central Concepts (i.e. energy fields) have
    limited practical application.
  • Contraindications in the theory occur.
    Example delineating the boundary of the human
    field with instruments (p. 113) but also states
    that the human field extends to infinity without
  • Criticized as a closed system in which
    most studies are conducted and/or published
    within Rogerian scholar circles and publications.

The Science of Rogerian Nursing
  • Not only is nursing theory an
    articulation of phenomena and
  • their relationships, but such articulation
    has to be communicated
  • to colleagues in ways that make it
    possible to test, evaluate,
  • interpret and use these
    articulations. (Meleis, p. 41)
  • Rogers labeled her work as a science, or
    conceptual model.
  • She reinforced the idea that nursing is based on
    a science. (Meleis, p. 406)
  • However, she was openly critical of
    evidence-based practice.
  • References to quantum physics are apparent
    attempts to legitimize the concepts.
  • Existing scientific methodology fails to capture
    the immeasurable components of the theory.

Research Studiesor Lack Thereof
  • Nursing theorists also tend to avoid crucial
    experiments which could jeopardize the theory in
    the rare cases where the theory is coherent
    enough to permit testing or, as noted for
    therapeutic touch, reinterpret the theory to make
    it possible to test. (Raskin)
  • The research studies conducted tend to be
    qualitative and/or anecdotal in nature, with
    poorly defined or irreproducible outcomes.
  • Infamous study published in JAMA (1998) cast
    serious doubts on efficacy of TT.
  • Two meta-analyses and a systematic review
    relating to TT concluded that any conclusion of
    effects are qualified by a methodological concern
    ( Peters, 1999 Winstead-Fry Kijek. 1999 Astin
    et al., 2000).

Final Resolution (?)
  • Perhaps it is becoming clear that there are no
    answers, in the sense of last word or final
    resolutions, within the system. The world view
    underlying the Science of Unitary Human Beings,
    one of total openness and continuous change
    fosters ongoing inquiry (Malinski, 1986).

References (1)
  • Astin J.A., Harkness E. Ernst E. (2000) The
    efficacy of distant healing a systematic
    review of randomized trials. Annals of Internal
    Medicine, 132, 903910.
  • Fawcett, J. (1995). Analysis and evaluation of
    conceptual models of nursing (3rd ed.). F.A.
    Philadelphia, PA Davis.
  • Kenny, J. (2002). Philosophical and Theoretical
    Perspectives for Advanced Nursing Practice (3rd
    ed.). Sudbury, Massachusetts Jones and Bartlett
  • Malinski, V.M. (1986). Explorations of Martha
    Rogers Science of Unitary Human Beings. East
    Norwalk, CT Prentice-Hall.
  • Malinski, V. M., Manhart Barrett, E. A. (1994).
    Martha E. Rogers Her Life and Her Work.
    Philadelphia F. A. Davis Company.
  • Manhart Barret, E. (2000). The Theoretical
    Matrix for a Rogerian Nursing Practice. Theoria
    Journal of Nursing Theory.
  • Manhart Barrett, E. (1990) Visions of Rogers
    Science-Based Nursing. New York, NY National
    League for Nursing.
  • Meleis, A. I (2007). Theoretical Nursing
    Development Progress. (4th Ed)., Philadelphia,
    PA Lippincott Williams Williams.

References (2)
  • OMathúna, p. A critical evaluation of the
    theory and practice of therapeutic touch.
    Blackwell Science Ltd 2002 Nursing Philosophy, 3,
    pp. 163176.
  • Raskin, Jef. "Rogerian Nursing Theory A Humbug
    in the Halls of Higher Learning", Skeptical
    Inquirer 245 September/October 2000 pp 30-36.
    ryForSite.html, accessed 9/25/08)
  • Rogers, Martha E. 1970. An Introduction to the
    Theoretical Basis of Nursing. Philadelphia F.A.
    Davis Company.
  • Rosa, L., E. Rosa, L. Sarner and S. Barrett.
    1998. "A Close Look at Therapeutic Touch". JAMA 1
    April 1005-1010.
  • Winstead-Fry P. Kijek J. (1999) An integrative
    review and meta-analysis of therapeutic touch
    research. Alternative Therapies in Health and
    Medicine, 5, 5867.
  • Wright, B.W. (2007) . The evolution of Rogers
    Science of Unitary Human Beings 21st century
    reflections. Nursing Science Quarterly. 20(1),