Theory of Uncertainty in Illness

Theory of Uncertainty in Illness

A nursing theory conceived by Merle Mishel in 1988 that patients have many questions about the diseases that affect them, the treatments they are offered, the nature of their interactions with health care personnel, and their own emotional and physical responses to care. It suggests that helping patients resolve some of these uncertainties through psychoeducation will diminish knowledge deficits, improve communication between patients and their providers, and enhance the management of symptoms.
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These guidelines include: 1) demonstrate a need for this particular type of literature review; 2) organize around a conceptual or theoretical model (for this review, Mishel's Theory of Uncertainty in Illness was used); 3) describe methods for searching, identify databases and key words used, and use current reference lists in other publications; 4) define criteria for selecting and excluding articles for review; and 5) use of a table or evidence matrix to group articles by concept and findings to compare patterns.