An analysis and evaluation of the theory of unpleasant symptoms

Seung Eun Lee, Catherine Vincent, Lorna Finnegan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


The Theory of Unpleasant Symptoms was developed to enhance understanding of relationships among multiple symptoms and symptom experiences. Although the theory has been used to guide research, no formal critique of the theory has been published since 2000. This article comprehensively analyzes and evaluates the theory using Fawcett and DeSanto- Madeya's framework. Although its semantic clarity, semantic and structural consistency, and parsimony could be improved, the theory demonstrates good social and theoretical significance, testability, and empirical and pragmatic adequacy. Understanding multiple patient symptoms is essential, and the theory demonstrates that nurses should focus on multiple rather than individual symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E16-E39
JournalAdvances in Nursing Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Framework
  • Nursing
  • Symptom
  • Theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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