middle range theory, theory, 21st century perspective



  1. Liehr, Patricia PhD, RN
  2. Smith, Mary Jane PhD, RN


The foundation of middle range theory reported during the past decade was described and analyzed. A CINAHL search revealed 22 middle range theories that met selected criteria. This foundation is a firm base for new millennium theorizing. Recommendations for future theorizing include: clear articulation of theory names and approaches for generating theories; clarification of concept linkages with inclusion of diagrammed models; deliberate attention to research-practice connections of theories; creation of theories in concert with the disciplinary perspective; and, movement of middle range theories to the front lines of nursing research and practice for further analysis, critique, and development.