Nursing Essay


Concept Analysis Paper

This assignment is designed for the student to examine the antecedents, attributes, and consequences of a concept. The student will identify a strong definition of this concept. If there is none, the student will develop one. The student will explore a concept, and then analyze that descriptive word and its use in literature. Steps from Wilson’s Concept and Analysis will be used (Walker & Avant, 2011).
The body of the paper should not exceed 8 pages. Scholarly written, APA formatted, and referenced and double spaced paper. A minimum of 3 references are required. References need to be 5 to 7 years old(2010-2017). 

Follow these steps while completing the project:
1. Introduction
2. Select a concept relevant to nursing.
3. Determine the purposes of analysis.
4. Identify the uses of the concept (Literature Review).
5. Determine the concept’s defining attributes, antecedents, and consequences.
6. Construct a model case.
7. Conclusion (needs to have at least 5 to 7 sentences)



Concept Analysis Paper: Pain




Introduction. 2

Selection of a Nursing Concept 2

Purpose of the Analysis. 3

Determining Defining Attributes. 6

Identification of Antecedents of Pain. 6

Consequence of Pain. 7

Model Case. 8

Analysis. 9

Conclusion. 9

References. 10

Concept Analysis Paper: Pain


            There are several models that have been developed for the analysis of concepts. Walker and Avant proposed a concept analysis model that is most used is useful for the analysis of concepts in nursing. A concept can be considered as a mental construction that can be elaborated with regards to a phenomenon that is critical for the purpose of research development as well as the development of theories. Concepts are composed of abstract attributes that represent reality. Concepts are analyzed for the purposes of developing theories, application in practice, or enhancing practice. Concept analysis and development have greatly contributed to the improvement of service in the nursing practice. Concept analysis can thus be considered as a theoretical assessment that is based on literature. In this paper, a concept related to nursing will be analyzed using the Walker and Avant proposed model where the study objective will be to identify attributes, antecedents, and consequences of the concept that will be identified for analysis.


Selection of a Nursing Concept

            Like other disciplines, nursing encompasses various concepts whose role is to explain diverse phenomena relating to nurses’ role of caring for patients. However, for the purposes of this study, the nursing concept of pan will be analyzed. Pain is chosen for the purpose of this analysis because it is one of the most frequent nursing diagnoses. According to Moseley and Butler (2015), most people seek clinical help for pain compared to other concepts. In a number of occasions, patients will go to hospitals so that they can be relieved of pain that they are suffering. Pain is distressful, unpleasant, and uncomfortable feeling that people experience when they have a health problem. When a pain remains unrelieved, it then has the potential of affecting the quality of life of a person by causing them emotional as well as physical effects. Pain can have an impact on a family as well as the society in general. Costs of healthcare are increased when people experience continuous pain. Pain is thus a critical problem to the health sector.

Purpose of the Analysis

The paper aims at explaining the concept of pain in order to create a better understanding of what it entails. In the analysis, the attributes, antecedents, as well as the consequences of pain will be discussed. The paper will also incorporate the use of a model case to demonstrate the way in which pain is linked to the critical attributes. The aim of the paper is also to help the audience to have the ability to differentiate the concept of pain from other concepts.

Identification of the Uses of Concept

            In order to get a better understanding of the concept of pain, the Oxford Dictionary of English’s definition was adopted because it helps with information regarding the etymology of the word. According to the dictionary, pain is a sensation that one experiences when they are hurt. The injury can either be in the body or mind. The dictionary also defines it as the opposite of pleasure. It results in suffering and distress. An individual’s physical as well as psychical senses are affected when they are in pain (Moseley & Butler, 2015). The experience of pain may be as a result of trouble, bodily harm, or mental suffering. The definition of pain has been transformed from the earlier times when it meant the suffering of a loss that is inflicted through offence or crime. In this case, a person was punished or given a penalty. This definition was useful at the time ranging between 13th century to 19th century where pain was majorly seen as being related to punishment or crime.

            When examined from a philosophical perspective, there exist several philosophical perspectives that have helped in the development of pain. Plato, Aristotle, and Descartes contributions have greatly influenced the development of the pain theories. Plato developed the idea of soul, pain, and pleasure. Plato proposed that pain was not only a product of peripheral stimulation, but also the emotional experiences that are happening in the soul (Wortham, 2015). When one is relieved from their pain, then they derive pleasure. Therefore, both pain and pleasure have an effect on the whole body. Aristotle also offered contributions to the understanding of pain where he considered as a state of feeling, emotion or a passion of the soul. When one is not experiencing pain, then they are experiencing pleasure. Pleasure is something that is enjoyable while pain is something that is unpleasant (Khan, Raza, & Khan, 2015). On the other hand, Descartes provided an emphasis on the relationship between the soul and the mind when it comes to experiencing pain.In this philosopher’s view, the undesirable feeling of pain encompasses both psychological antecedents and emotional consequences. In other words, the perception of pain encompasses both the soul and mind.

            Theoretically, there are four theories that are used to discuss pain. The main theories that explain the concept include the Gate Control Theory and the Psychological/Behavior Theory. According to Gate Control theory, pain perception is composed of three interactive cerebral processes that include motivational affective, sensory discriminative, as well as cognitive evaluation perspectives (Campbell, Johnson, &Zernicke, 2013). The brain serves as the center of pain distribution through the spinal cord and nerves when one is injured. The intensity and duration of pain is determined by the extent of the injury. According to the Gate Control Theory, pain does not exist as a single sensation but an ongoing process. It begins with simple reflex responses and then progresses into complex strategies that are aimed at terminating the pain (Campbell, Johnson, &Zernicke, 2015).

            The psychological/behavior theory of pain places an emphasis on the knowledge of role learning, culture, personality, as well as emotional, cognitive, psychological, and environmental factors. Pain is viewed as something that is learnt from respondent and operant conditions. When viewed from the perspective of the respondent, pain is seen as being a product of antecedent stimulus that includes nociception. Under operant condition, pain is viewed as a response to cues in the environment. Reinforcement of environment consequently results in the reinforcement of pain behavior, and this contributes to persistence or chronic pain (Claes et al., 2014). The two theories thus provide that for pain to be experienced there must be a physiological stimulus. The pain behavior is however not dependent on the physiological stimulus.


            Pain is closely related to other concepts that include suffering and discomfort. However, the concepts cannot be used to substitute the concept of pain. Suffering constitutes the negative affective response. Pain has the capacity to induce suffering, though, not all forms of pain lead to suffering. According to Schleifer (2014), suffering is a concept that happens to an individual as a result of personhood. While the body feels pain a person suffers. Suffering does not affect the body of an individual. Each person has a unique experience in suffering. There are times when people suffer even though they do not experience pain. Discomfort, on the other hand, is used to refer to a mild pain. Therefore, discomfort is used to refer to the extent of pain, state, or intensity of pain. In conclusion, there are some attributes of pain, discomfort, and suffering that overlap. However, the concepts cannot be used to substitute one another.

Determining Defining Attributes

            Attributes refer to the characteristics that are in a relationship with a concept. Concept analysis has the potential to have more than one attribute for a concept. However, Walker and Avant (2011), emphasize the importance of determining attributes that are of most importance n evaluation of a concept. When examined from the most appropriate attributes perspective, the concept of pain bears the following attributes. They include: individual human experience, the importance of pain that includes offering warning or protective signs, unpleasant experiences that are as a result of the physical sensations, psychological and physical responses to stimuli, and learning and influencing of pain responses based on the environment, personality, culture, and emotions.

Identification of Antecedents of Pain

            The antecedents of pain include personal, environmental, and cultural values. All these three attributes are related. An investigation of the environment reveals that it is linked to the event that results into pain. The body and mind of a person has the potential to be affected by the environment. The environment can result in the damage of body tissue that consequently results into feelings of pain.

            When examined from a personal attribute perspective, pain can be said to be related to the current emotional and physical condition of a person. Pain is also linked to the personality, socio-economic class, as well as gender of an individual. The way a person experiences pain can be affected by certain physical conditions that include: a person’s sensitivity to pain, the patterns of sleep, as well as muscle tension. A person can also experience pain as a result of stress and anxiety. Feelings of pain are heightened when the stress and anxiety levels are raised. Perception of pain can also be influenced by an individual’s personality. An individual with negative perceptions about pain will feel more pain compared to an individual who has a positive attitude. A person with positive attitude looks for positive ways to deal with the pain. In terms of gender, men are found to be more resistant to pain compared to their female counterparts (Cousins et al., 2015). Pain can also be experienced from a socio-cultural perspective. Individuals from different socio-cultural environments discuss pain differently.  People who experience high socio-economic class are more sensitive to pain compared to persons who experience lower socio-economic class.

            Culture refers to the way of life of a particular group. It also determines ways in which people experience pain. People who belong to the same culture have common beliefs. According to Simon (2012), culture results in different interpretations of pain amongst individuals. People will also react to pain based on their culture. Therefore, pain is also a concept that can be culturally interpreted or shaped. One will experience pain according to their level of expectancy as prescribed in their culture. Pain acceptance and anticipation is determined by an individual’s attitude. The willingness to accept pain can be influenced by ones culture. When a culture prescribes that pain is a sign of culture, people of the community will not accept pain. The attitudes of pain are learnt from the community as well as family members.

Consequence of Pain

            According to Walker and Avant (2011), consequences refer to occurrences that arise due to a concept. The way an individual reacts to pain is dependent on their own interpretation and an understanding of the meaning of pain. An individual’s reaction to pain is dependent on their physical and biological focus. When one copes with a pain that they are experiencing, then the psychological focus comes into perspective.

            When one experiences pain, they will display a certain behavior that reflects their reaction to pain. The response to pain can either be voluntary or involuntary. When one is not in direct conscious control of pain, then it is known as involuntary response (Troche et al., 2015). Involuntary responses often encompass reflex reactions, for example when a person unknowing steps on a sharp object and winces in pain or jumps up. On the other hand, voluntary responses are as a result of consciousness (Troche et al., 2015). The responses cover both the verbal and non-verbal reactions. For example, when a knocks their head on a wall, they will voluntary rub the pain site to avoid swelling. On other instances, people will cry for help while in pain.

Model Case

            The model case involves a 38-year man who was diagnosed with prostate cancer. The breast cancer has developed into stage three, and has spread to other internal organs. The man is under intense pain as a result of the disease. Whenever he experiences intense pain, he holds to his religious cross as way of reacting to pain. When the family members asked him whether she was in pain, he responded by saying no and even thanked the family members for their concern. Some of the family members were concerned that the man was not feeling pain when an advanced case of cancer resulted in intense pain. The patient responded to their concerns saying that he was a parent and a man hence he does not need to show his pain.


            The patient in this case does not display the attributes of pain but his reaction to pain can be seen from the non-verbal cues. The man is guided by both personality and culture in his reaction to pain. He denies being in pain despite cancer being a painful ailment. This is based on his personality, gender, as well as cultural attributions to pain.


            The selection of pain as a concept of analysis was based on the recognition that it seriously affects patients as well as healthcare providers. From the concept analysis, the uses of the concept have been identified, the attributes, antecedents, as well as the consequences. Pain is experienced as a result of physical and psychological concepts. From the analysis, it can be summarized that pain can both be experienced positively or negatively depending on the victim’s environment, personality, or culture.


Campbell, T. S., Johnson, J. A., &Zernicke, K. A. (2013). Gate Control Theory of Pain. In Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine (pp. 832-834). Springer New York.

Claes, N., Karos, K., Meulders, A., Crombez, G., &Vlaeyen, J. W. (2014). Competing goals attenuate avoidance behavior in the context of pain. The Journal of Pain15(11), 1120-1129.

Cousins, L. A., Kalapurakkel, S., Cohen, L. L., & Simons, L. E. (2015). Topical review: Resilience resources and mechanisms in pediatric chronic pain. Journal of Pediatric Psychology40(9), 840-845.

Khan, M. A., Raza, F., & Khan, I. A. (2015). Pain: history, culture and philosophy. Acta Medico-HistoricaAdriatica13(1), 113-130.

Moseley, G. L., & Butler, D. S. (2015). Fifteen years of explaining pain: the past, present, and future. The Journal of Pain16(9), 807-813.

Schleifer, R. (2014). Pain and suffering. Routledge.

Simon, L. S. (2012). Relieving pain in America: A blueprint for transforming prevention, care, education, and research. Journal of Pain & Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy26(2), 197-198.

Troche, S. J., Houlihan, M. E., Connolly, J. F., Dick, B. D., McGrath, P. J., Finley, G. A., &Stroink, G. (2015). The effect of pain on involuntary and voluntary capture of attention. European Journal of Pain19(3), 350-357.

Walker, L. O., & Avant, K. C. (2011). Strategies for theory construction in nursing. Norwalk, CT: Appleton and Lange.

Wortham, S. M. (2015). Modern Thought in Pain: Theodicy, Philosophy, Aesthetics. Edinburgh University Press.

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