Many authors view practice theory as the strongest form for an applied discipline like nursing. It is based upon the idea that theory emanates from practice, is strengthened and is returned to inform practice. The first part of this paper is concerned with identifying the contribution that practice theory can make to patient care. While there are many positivistic ways of generating practice theory, one method which is getting increasing attention is reflection. In this paper, Boud et al.'s framework for reflection is used to identify phenomena related to the empowerment of patients and staff in psychiatric hospitals (Boud et al. 1985). A real life case study is described and concepts and beginning propositions are uncovered. Conclusions are drawn which form the basis for theory development and testing.
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- long-stay care
- practice theory
- theory development