Self Care Defecit Theory

  1. Okay, I just started my nursing classes and we are studying the self care deficit theory by Dorothea Orem. It seems the program is based on this theory. I know we will doing careplans using this theory. I have done the reading and I am having a hard time understanding it. Can someone give me pointers in understanding this theory?
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    About starr234

    Joined: Dec '01; Posts: 29


  3. by   Sleepyeyes
    Self-care deficit theory teaches that people benefit from nursing because they have health-related limitations in providing self-care. Limitations may result from illness, injury, or from the effects of medical tests or treatments. Two variables affect these deficits: self care agency (ability) and therapeutic self-care demands (the measures of care required to meet existing requisites). Self-care deficit results when self-care agency is not adequate to meet the known self-care demand.[/quote]

    taken from

    Though we did holistic theory, I think this is pretty easy to understand. For instance: normally, I would walk to the bathroom. But a broken leg would cause a deficit in my ability to walk to the bathroom. Therefore, I would qualify as needing nursing assistance to eliminate bodily waste, or bathe, or walk.

    Seems like this theory is based on the normally-functioning adult model, so that means that anyone who is not a normally-functioning adult (i.e., babies, elderly, handicapped) would require some sort of compensation for their deficits.

    So I would envision the image of a functional adult, and then compare that to your patient's image.

    Hope that helps
    Last edit by Sleepyeyes on Sep 1, '02
  4. by   2amigos
    Great answer!
  5. by   Love-A-Nurse
    sleepyeyes, thanks, i will save this for references when i need it.
  6. by   starr234
    Thanks! The textbook reading I had went over my head. The link you gave explained it better.