Self-care Deficit Nursing Theory

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The self-care deficit nursing theory is a grand nursing theory that was developed between 1959 and 2001 by Dorothea Orem. It is also known as the Orem model of nursing. It is particularly used in rehabilitation and primary care settings where the patient is encouraged to be as independent as possible.

Central philosophy

The nursing theory is based upon the philosophy that all "patients wish to care for themselves". They can recover more quickly and holistically if they are allowed to perform their own self-cares to the best of their ability.

Self-care requisites

Self-care requisites are groups of needs or requirements that Orem identified. They are classified as either:
  • Universal self-care requisites - those needs that all people have
  • Developmental self-care requisites - 1. maturational: progress toward higher level of maturation. 2. situational: prevention of deleterious effects related to development.
  • Health deviation requisites - those needs that arise as a result of a patient's condition

Self-care deficits

When an individual is very unable to meet their own self-care requisites, a "self-care deficit" occurs. It is the job of the Registered Nurse to determine these deficits, and define a support modality.

Support modalities

Nurses are encouraged to rate their patient's dependencies or each of the self-care deficits on the following scale:
  • Total Compensation
  • Partial Compensation
  • Educative/Supportive

Universal Self-Care Requisites (SCRs)

The Universal self-care requisites that all or health are:
  • Air
  • Water
  • Food
  • Elimination
  • Activity and Rest
  • Solitude and Social Interaction
  • Hazard Prevention
  • Promotion of Normality
The nurse is encouraged to assign a support modality to each of the self-care requisites.

Example nursing assessment

This patient is entirely fictitious and any likeness to any person, alive or dead, is purely coincidental.
'J' is a 50-year-old male who has just been diagnosed with type-two diabetes mellitus. He has a history of hypertension, and is a chronic smoker, smoking around 30 cigarettes daily.
  • AIR: Educative/Supportive - Provide education on the risks associated with smoking particularly for the diabetic patient.
  • WATER: Educative/Supportive - Ensure access to adequate hydration - risk of polydipsia due to hyperglycaemia.
  • FOOD: Partial Compensation - Education and provision of a diet that is suitable for his new diagnosis of diabetes, blood sugar monitoring after meals.
  • ELIMINATION: Educative/Supportive - May require monitoring.
  • ACTIVITY AND REST: Educative/Supportive - Educate patient as to the benefits of cardiovascular exercise, especially for the diabetic
  • SOLITUDE AND SOCIAL INTERACTION: Partial Compensation - Nurses may provide social interaction as hospital admission will cause change is social behaviour and interactions.
  • HAZARD PREVENTION: Partial Compensation - Nurses will need to educate regarding the medication that he may be taking, and administer this medication initially. Particularly relevant if J is taking insulin injections.
  • PROMOTE NORMALITY: Partial Compensation - Nurses will need to facilitate a return to normal lifestyle. This will involve advocating for the patient in a multi-disciplinary team, in order to achieve a medication regime that will fit with the patient's life.

Source : wikipedia