Lois K. Baker, PhD, RN, CPNP Mary J. Denyes, PhD, RN, FAAN
Pediatric nurses often struggle to find ways to encourage adolescents with cystic fibrosis (CF) to engage in self-care that is essential to their health and life. A study of predictors of self-care was conducted to provide a stronger evidence base for nursing practice with these youth. Orem's theories of self-care and self-care deficit were tested to explain and predict the universal and health deviation self-care of 123 adolescents with CF. Four dimensions of self-care agency emerged as predictors of universal self-care, two of which were also predictive of …show more content…
Frey et al. (2004) reported that adolescents with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus who were in poor metabolic control did not engage in self-care consistent with that recommended to maintain control. Moore and Beckwitt (2003) found that although children with cancer performed considerable universal self-care, they engaged in less illness-related or health deviation self-care. Dashiff et al. (2006) reported that although adolescents with Type 1 diabetes engaged in universal and health deviation self-care, there was room for improvement. Specifically, health deviation self-care decreased with age, suggesting the necessity to build foundational self-care practices during the early stage of adolescent development.
Self-care agency is composed of three related but conceptually distinct human properties or traits arranged in hierarchical order: (a) foundational capabilities and dispositions; (b) power components; and (c) capabilities to perform self-care operations (Gast et al., 1989; Orem, 2001). The interrelatedness of the various dimensions of self-care agency was also addressed by Orem (2001, pp. 254–277). Selected foundational capabilities and power components of self-care agency were included in this study. Foundational Capabilities and Dispositions Foundational to all deliberate actions, including self-care, are general human capabilities such as