Kristen M. Swanson,
Family and Child Nursing,
University of Washington.
Dr. Swanson has empirically developed a middle range
theory of caring which she and others have replicated and/or tested with individuals, families, and
groups experiencing a variety of health challenges.
A theory of caring and dementia.
Muriel B. Ryden, PhD, RN. American Journal
of Alzheimer's Disease®July/August 1998;13(4): 203-207.
American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease Abstracts).
Abstract: This paper explores the applicability of
Swanson's mid-range theory of caring to work with persons with dementing illness. The definition
of caring and the caring process inductively derived by Swanson from research with samples of women
in a perinatal context have relevance for both formal and informal caregivers of persons with
dementia. The nature of severe dementia necessitates modifications in applying the theory. However,
the well-being of this vulnerable population may be enhanced when practice and research are based on
this rich conception of caring. This theory of caring provides structure to the sometimes amorphous
characterization of an ethic of care and gives meaning and direction for work with persons affected
a midwife on the midwife-led unit (MLU), Craigavon Area Hospital Group Trust, Northern Ireland
presents a case study of a birth in the MLU where Swanson's theory of caring is utilised for the
plan of care and its applicability to the care provided in the unit is discussed.
This theory of caring, as proposed by Swanson (1991), encapsulates the philosophy of
the MLU. It moves away from the medical model that defines pregnancy as a pathological condition
requiring medical intervention (Bryar, 1995) and the belief that birth is normal only in retrospect.
The medical model stresses the structure and function of the body rather than the uniqueness of the