Elizabeth R. Lenz created the theory of unpleasant symptoms to identify the relationship between symptoms and diseases. The theory is based on the fact that symptoms are always in clusters. The theory is considered a middle-range theory and aims to give nurses a better understanding of symptoms so they can have more appropriate and timely interventions for diseases (Silva-Rodrigues & Nascimento, 2019). This theory contains relatively specific nursing research documentation and practices. Furthermore, the theory is also predictive, as it is used to determine the future outcome of patient cases and the best ways to cure the infection or the condition.
The theory originates from the fact that patients usually come with symptoms to seek medical help. Symptoms are the first signs of an ailing body, and these are simple to spot and give a definitive direction toward the cause of the ailment and the cure. Elizabeth Lenz theorized that the cluster of symptoms could lead to more than one negative effect. In 1995, Lenz and colleagues focused on individual symptoms (Vargo, 2020). In 1997, the theory was revised to focus on a cluster of concurrent symptoms. According to the National Institute of Nursing Research, the theory through the clustering method can help improve disease management.
The theory is a guideline on how nurses can apply the knowledge gained in studying the clustered symptoms to predict the outcome and the treatment of the diseases. The theory has three main components that make it applicable and enable it to analyze patient cases (Gomes et al., 2019). The elements are as follows: the symptoms the individual is experiencing, the second are influencing factors that give rise to or affect the nature of the symptoms, and lastly, the symptoms experienced have consequences. Firstly, the symptoms are perceived as the changes in the body functions experienced by the patient. Symptoms are multidimensional, which means that they are affected by several factors, such as the intensity of the symptoms at a given, the distress given by the patient, the timing of the symptoms at different times or in different environments, and the quality of the symptoms. Many symptoms can coincide, making them multidimensional based on the mentioned factors (Gomes et al., 2019). The influencing factors are also categorized into three main dimensions: psychological, physiological, and situational. Lastly, the performance of the symptoms is related to the consequences of the symptoms, affecting the quality of life lived those individual lives and their daily activities (Blakeman, 2019).
The theory applies to many cases and is not closed to one section alone. This theory allows nurses to recognize some symptoms’ patterns and pinpoint them to a given disease cause. This theory applies in many patient interactions because nurses look for symptoms and pinpoint certain disease patterns (Vargo, 2020). This theory is used to identify the symptom scales of diseases such as heart failure among members of a state and a country at large. The nurses search for factors, and if they can pick up a cluster of symptoms that have been studied before, they can prevent diseases and save lives (Vargo, 2020). The nurse is tasked with direct patient care, and therefore they can pick up symptoms, they pick up symptoms before they appear. This increases the efficacy of patient preventive care models that can help solve the problem of diseases such as heart failure and diabetes. Nurses are now able to apply symptom management procedures to conditions that are in practice. The theory is a guidance mechanism nurses use to manage how the patient’s symptoms are handled. This framework is resourceful in tracking the symptom scales for pandemics. This theory can help improve patient outcomes in many fields of medicine and nursing.
In conclusion, nurses should rely on symptom management systems with predictive features for future improvement. The symptom management symptoms are made based on the elements of the unpleasant symptom theory. Furthermore, utilizing the scale symptom management systems will help give good patient outcomes. The examination of limits and the simplicity of the theory in different cases should be examined before implementation. Despite the theory being applicable in many situations, the nurses need to know that the theory has limitations and should be tested before application in some of the situations.
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