Self-Care Deficit Theory

Definition of Nursing

 The provision of self-care which is therapeutic in sustaining life and health, in recovering from disease or injury, or coping with their effects.
 A service to people, not a derivative of medicine.
 Nursing promotes the goal of patient self-care.

Orem’s General Theory of Nursing
(3 related theories collectively referred to as “Orem’s General Theory of Nursing”)

1. Self-care Theory: three types of self-care requisites (needs) or categories based on the concepts of:

- comprises those activities performed independently by an individual to promote and maintain personal well-being throughout life.

- the individual’s ability to perform self-care activities. Consists of TWO agents:

b1. Self-care Agent - person who provides the self-care
b2. Dependent Care Agent - person other than the individual who provides the care (such as a   parent)


- the actions or measures used to provide self-care. Consists of THREE categories:

c1. Universal - requisites/needs that are common to all individuals
c2. Developmental - needs resulting from maturation or develop due to a condition or event
c3. Health Deviation - needs resulting from illness, injury & disease or its treatment

- “Therapeutic self-care demand represents the totality of action required to meet a set of self-care requirements using a set of technologies” (McLaughlin-Renpenning, & Taylor, 2002, p.175)

2. Self-Care Deficit Theory

 Five Methods of Assistance

- is the central focus of Orem’s Grand Theory of Nursing
- explains when nursing is needed
- describes and explains how people can be helped through nursing
- results when the Self-care Agency (patient) can’t meet her/his self-care needs or administer self-care
- nursing meets these self-care needs through five methods of help

Five Methods of Nursing Help

-Acting or doing for
-Providing an environment to promote the patient’s ability to meet current or future demands

3. Nursing Systems Theory

- Describes nursing responsibilities, roles of the nurse and patient, rationales for the nurse-patient relationship, and types of actions needed to meet the patient’s demands
- Refers to a series of actions a nurse takes to meet a patient’s self-care needs, is determined by the patient’s self-care needs, is composed of THREE systems:
     Wholly compensatory
     Partly compensatory