Selection of a concept

Published: 2019-05-16 08:45:24
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The concept that will be concentrated in this paper will be the pain faced as far as nursing theory is concerned (Vyge & Buckner, 2012). The nursing theory is a collection of concepts that propose the action that is to guide practise.


For one to identify the uses of the concept of pain, it is essential to understand the basic information about pain (Vetlesen, 2009). Pain can be applied in different fields including philosophical perspective, theoretical perspective, sociological and finally professional perspective.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, pain is defined as the sensation which one feels when hurt in body or mind.

Philosophical Perspectives of Pain

In the philosophical perspective, Plato maintained that the concept involve the pain, soul and pleasure (Pain, 2009). He believed that pain arose from the emotional experience of the soul and also peripheral stimulation. Plato felt that pleasure is derived from pain relief (Vetlesen, 2009). He finalizes that both pleasure and pain affects the body.

Aristotle's idea of pain was that pain was a state of feeling that is the opposite of pleasure. . Descartes also emphasized that pain was related to the soul and mind. The pressure of the plain would be directly reflected in the mind. This is because of the presence of stimulus in the human body.

Theoretical Perspectives on Pain

Pain was explained in theoretical perspective mainly by 4 theories which were pattern theory, specific theory, gate control theory, and finally behavioural theory (Pain, 2009). The Gate Control Theory is the commonly used theory which involved three interactive cerebral processes: motivational-affective, sensory-discriminative, and cognitive-evaluation dimensions.

To conclude the process of analysis, pain is considered to physiological stimulus. However, the presence of a physiological stimulus cannot determine the ensuing pain behaviour.

Use of the Concept of Pain in Sociology

The concept of pain is mainly applied in the field of sociology to help emphasize pain in cultural inheritance. It is noted that when one experiences pain sensation, then there is an automatic response. The pain experience is directly affected by the cultural and social patterns (Vyge & Buckner, 2012). The attitude towards pain is always determined by pain acceptance and expectancy. It was noted that pain reactions by an individual also depend on their cultural backgrounds and specific social situations.

Use of the Concept of Pain in Professional Fields

Pain is considered subjective and is said to be an unpleasant sensory associated with potential or actual tissue damage. Professionally, it was realized pain serves both the positive and negative functions. Pain could help in warning of treatment aid and diagnosis. It also showed a sign of tissue trauma (Carr, Christensen & Layzell, 2010). The factor that affects the sensation of pain more is said to be physical stimulus.

Determine Defining Attributes

This defining attributes refer to the certain list of characteristics that are associated with the pain concept (Vetlesen, 2009). The concept pain may have a lot of defining attributes, but only the appropriate ones are considered for the analysis. The attributes include:

Distressful and unpleasant experiences

An individual human experience

A state of feeling in emotion, sensation and behavioural components

Psychological and physical responses to the stimulus

A function of pain, including warning signs and protective

Pain responses are learned and influenced by personality, environment, emotions, social and culture.

Identify Model Cases

A model class usually consist and illustrates all the attributes of the concept paper. An example of a model case is as outlined below.

Mr. B is a 45-year-old diagnosed with cancer of the colon. Recently, he was found to be in bad condition as the tumour had enlarged (Carr, Christensen & Layzell, 2010). The doctor advises that he gets surgery. A nursing student found Mr. B in pain claiming that his lower left abdominal area was the affected. Mr. B was found lying on his left side with both knees bent. The arms of Mr. B were held close to the chest. He looked very tired and his eyebrows were furrowed. The student gave him pain killers that relieved the pain.

This case helps illustrate the attributes of pain that the patient is facing (Vetlesen, 2009). The patient was found lying in the protective positions such as lying on his left side. Also the arms being closed to the chest symbolized the degree of pain.

Identify Additional Cases

Borderline cases

One may identify some of the same critical attributes but not all the attributes (Taylor, 2011). The cases usually contain most criteria but differ substantially in one of them.

Contrary cases

Contrary cases are the cases that contain the exact opposite of the concept paper. Such cases are easily recognized as not the stated concept.

Identify Antecedents and Consequences

Antecedents are considered events that occur before the existing concept. For the case of the concept of pain, personal, environmental, and cultural values would act as antecedents. The event that triggers pain is classified under environmental values (Vyge & Buckner, 2012). Environmental values can cause potential or actual tissue damage by affecting the mind, body or even both.

For personal issues, they include personality, emotional and physical condition, and the socio-economic class and gender. Examples of the physical condition include degree of muscle tension, sleeping pattern, and capability of feeling the stimuli. Anxiety level and stress form the emotional condition (Pain, 2009). The higher the anxiety level and stress, the more the pain a victim experiences compared to when the anxiety level is low.

An individuals personality also determines how one perceives pain (Carr, Christensen & Layzell, 2010). If one has got a positive attitude towards pain then, then the methods he/she applies to handle are positive. Females are more sensitive to pain compared to male. In fact, it is normal for a female to express pain more often compared to male.

It is also important to state that individuals from different socio economic classes may discuss pain in a different context. Culture is also the antecedent of pain and is viewed as a way of a life of a particular group (Vyge & Buckner, 2012). Members belonging to the same cultural group can easily discuss pain together. Culture helps people interpret, react and live with pain.

On the other hand, consequences are incidents that happen due to the concept. The consequences of pain are connected to pain reaction and ones interpretation of the meaning of pain(Taylor, 2011). An example of pain consequence is the pain reaction also considered the pain behaviour. Pain behaviour is either voluntary or involuntary responses. Involuntary responses focus on the responses that are involuntary. They are non verbal mostly in the autonomic nervous systems which are heart rate and reflex reactions. Voluntary response requires motor activity and consciousness. Such responses contain non-verbal and verbal reactions. Examples are when one cry or moan because of pain which is verbal. One can also rub the pain position which is non-verbal.

Another form of a consequence of pain is when one develops a meaning for hi/her pain experience. Pain experiences can either be negative or positive when individuals decide to transfer pain (Vetlesen, 2009). There are three processes that would help determine the meaning of pain, they include immediate effects, immediate causes, and ultimate causes. The immediate effects refer to pain that prevents one from going to work. The immediate causes refer to pain that indicates potential cancer metastasis and finally the ultimate causes which are as a result of Gods will.

When one is exerted towards pain, he/she is expected to present some pain reaction. The decrease, increase or intensity of pain remain the same depend on the reaction that pain is given. When the pain is continuously presented, then we have a feedback loop. The victim then re-evaluates the pain and makes use of coping strategies to relieve pain.

Defining Empirical Referents

The empirical references simply show how the concept is expected to be measured. It expresses how the phenomenon is to be viewed in reality. This event is very important as it helps show the existence of the concept of pain. The final step of the analysis is called determining. Suppose the attributes are abstract, then empirical references would show the appearance of the attributes in reality. The analysis of the concept of pain can be used in the instrument development (Vyge & Buckner, 2012). It is also noted that the most reliable pain indication is verbally. This is because pain is uncomfortable, unpleasant, and distressful experience. Some people may have their verbal capabilities restricted hence the need for other indicators to be employed. When measuring pain, one has to consider the intensity, location and quality of pain. Some of the ways t assess patients include restlessness, alterations in muscle tone, crying or even avoidance of movement among many others. One of the tools used for assessment of patients in pain is said to be questionnaires. It contains three majors of pain including the number of words chosen, pain rating index and pain intensity at that particular moment.


As a nursing student, the concept of pain analysis was the best analysis of both the health care providers and patients are exposed to excessive pain due to injuries. It is now clear that consequences of unrelieved pain can be presented by nursing studies (Vetlesen, 2009). This concept of pain will benefit nurses by ensuring that nurses gain a better understanding of pain. It will also enable nurses to implement appropriate activities to ensure that the victims pain is relieved. It is also clarified that pain may be positive or negative is not always unwanted (Taylor, 2011). Finally, the concept of pain focuses in the immediate response to pain and how it gives meaning to life.


Vetlesen, A. (2009). A philosophy of pain. London: Reaktion Books.

Vyge, J., & Buckner, D. (2012). The Dragons' Den Guide to Assessing Your Business Concept. Hoboken: Wiley.

Pain, J. (2009). Not just talking. London: Karnac.

Carr, E., Christensen, M., & Layzell, M. (2010). Advancing nursing practice in pain management. Chichester, West Sussex: Blackwell Pub.

Taylor, C. (2011). Fundamentals of nursing. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.




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