Assessment Tool for
Patient Symptoms Using the Theory of Unpleasant Symptoms
theories have the objective of coaching clinical practice logically and
organized. The Theory of Unpleasant Symptoms lets the nurses
know the diverse groups of symptoms so that they can recommend
non-pharmacological interventions. In this context, the importance of the use
of the Theory of Unpleasant Symptoms is evident in nursing
practice and research.
The Theory of Unpleasant Symptoms was assembled
in 1995 and reviewed in 1997 (Gomes et al., 2019). Initially, the theory
occurred in 1995 from clinical observations and practical investigations
created by a group of researchers with vast experience. Respective
investigations sustained the structure of this medium-range theory, which was
planned for application and usage by clinical nurses, researchers, and
managers. Later on, the theory was revised and findings helped theorists to
discover that physical, psychological, and situational factors could affect the
symptoms experienced by the examined person.
Moreover, symptom management has become increasingly important
to nursing practice and continues to appear as an essential focus of nursing
science. The Theory of Unpleasant Symptoms was developed to
incorporate existing knowledge about a variety of symptoms to support nursing
research with valid findings. Notably, as the theory has been modified,
attention has been paid to the attribute that symptoms can interact with one
another, perhaps catalyzing each other. Also, symptoms can involve controlling
factors, and shifts in performance can also have a common effect on symptoms
and/or affecting factors. These results are also helpful tools used in nursing
research to discover efficient interventions.
In nursing practice, the Theory of Unpleasant Symptoms highlights
the complication of symptoms while also suggesting possible preventive and
management strategies (Lenz, 2018). Generally, the theory guides a healthcare
worker as it clarifies three main features, namely the symptoms that the
patient is experiencing, the factors that affect them (both in their nature and
in their development), and the outcomes of that experience (Gomes et al.,
2019). For example, numerous symptoms appearing together may have the same or
diﬀerent grounds and can have diverse eﬀects. By categorizing influencing
factors as physiological, psychological, and situational, the theory promotes
considering exceeding the physical domain of care.
All in all, the Theory of Unpleasant Symptoms assumes
the diversity of the symptoms and the possible connection between them. The
theory is a helpful tool for finding new useful interventions during the
nursing research. Besides, the theory is effectively used in nursing practice
to provide the patient with the most efficient intervention.
G. L., Rodrigues Lopes de Oliveira, F. M., Fernandes Barbosa, K. T., Torres de
Medeiros, A. C., das Graças Melo Fernandes, M., & Lima da Nóbrega, M. M.
(2019). Theory of unpleasant symptoms: Critical
e Contexto Enfermagem 28(2).
Lenz, E. R. (2018). Application of the theory
of unpleasant symptoms in practice: A challenge for nursing. Investigación en Enfermería: Imagen y
Desarrollo, 20(1). https://www.redalyc.org/journal/1452/145254388001/html/
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Assessment Tool for