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Advances in Nursing Science:

Thinking upstream: Nurturing a conceptual understanding of the societal context of health behavior.

Butterfield, Patricia G. RN, MS

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This article addresses the issue of overreliance on theories that define nursing in terms of a one-to-one relationship at the expense of theoretical perspectives that emphasize the societal context of health. When individuals are perceived as the focus of nursing action, the nurse is likely to propose intervention strategies aimed at either changing the behaviors of the individual or modifying the individual's perceptions of the world. When nurses understand the social, political, and economic influences that shape the health of a society, they are more likely to recognize social action as a nursing role and work on behalf of populations.

(C) 1990 Aspen Publishers, Inc.


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