Perspectives Unifying Symptom Interpretation

Authors

  • Cynthia S. Teel,

    Corresponding author
    1. Cynthia S. Teel, RN, PhD, Delta, is Assistant Professor, University Kansas Medical Center, School of Nursing, Kansas City, KS
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  • Paula Meek,

    1. Paula Meek, RN, PhD, is Assistant Professor, University of Arizona College of Nursing, Tucson, AZ
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  • Anne M. McNamara,

    1. Anne M. McNamara, RN, PhD, is Project Manager, RobertWood Johnson Colleagues in Caring Grant, Arizona Hospital and Health Care Association, Tempe, Az
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  • Lorraine Watson

    1. Lorraine Watson, RN, PhD, Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Program, University of Calgary Faculty of Nursing, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
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Dr. Teel, University Kansas Medical Center, School of Nursing, 3901 Rainbow Boulevard, Kansas City, KS 661 60.

Abstract

Purpose: To introduce the symptom interpretation model (SIM) and facilitate understanding symptoms from an intrapersonal perspective. Determining an individual's interpretation of symptoms is critical to understanding the resulting decisions.

Organizing Construct: SIM is based on an illness representation model, knowledge structures theroy, and propositions about reasoning. Individuals name and assign meaning to environmental stimuli. Based on this interpretation, behaviors are selected for symptom management.

Methods: Theory derivation was used to develop SIM for understanding comparisons of known and new symptoms in a behavioral outcomes context.

Conclusions: Symptom familiarity reinforces patterns about symptom management. SIM enriches understanding of symptom experiences. Comprehensive assessment, including the intraindividual perspective, is essential to successful symptom management.

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