Leininger’s Theory

Leininger’s Theory




Leininger’s Theory

In health care, the practice of caring of individuals, communities or families in order to recover or maintain optimal health and better quality of life is the essence of nursing. The involved nursing practitioners undergo different training regimen since they practice in diverse care provisions to cater for all needs. Their approach, training and practice scope is geared towards development of care plans, collaborative working with physicians, patients, therapists, associated families and other members in treatment of illnesses. Leininger’s theory seeks to focus on features essential to universality and cultural care in nursing. Leininger’s theory is vital for understanding the evolution of care giving by nursing through its assumptions and study of its application.

Some of the assumptions associated with the theory generally refer to the specification of nursing towards getting better quality of life and improvement in treatment of illnesses. It states that, caring is vital to healing and curing (Leininger & McFarland, 2006). There can be no healing without caring. It also assumes that caring is important in the well-being, healing, health and survival of an affected individual while it prepares to face an eventuality like being handicapped or ultimate loss of life. Through culture, it provides a holistic means to explain, know, predict and interpret the phenomena of practices in nursing care. Among the cultures of the world, concepts of culture care are diverse while they are similar in universality.

Leininger’s theory assumes that care values, practices and beliefs based on culture are influenced by the particular culture’s economic, language, religious, educational and environmental aspects. It also assumes that healthy and beneficial cultural-based nursing care contributes greatly to the improvement on an individual, family or community’s well-being depending on the context of their environment. Individuals in need of nursing care who experience care that reasonably fails to match with their cultural values and beliefs tend to show signs of stress, noncompliance, moral concerns and cultural conflicts. A major assumption states that each human culture has a definitive knowledge and practices on nursing care given to affected individuals of its own culture.

Leininger’s theory finds it application in research since it ideally refers to basic principles associated with nursing care. From the traditional forms of treatment to individuals who were ill, there were measures taken by the involved community and culture towards optimization of health and quality of life geared towards resumption of a better state. The theory is applied in a universal basis as different cultures and ethnicities had different nursing care methods and strategies. These were universal in the sense that regaining of optimal health and state was the basic aim by all. Understanding of the theory helps in its application towards transcultural study and implementation of nursing care.

The theory has three modes of actions that are essential in its application towards nursing care. This is vital since different cultures are represented in each part of the world and it is of uttermost importance to enhance universality in the process. Basavanthappa (2007) argues that the care given and quality of nursing should be devoid of bias while maintaining the sole aim of preserving life, giving better chances of recovery, alienating any forms cultural conflict and preparation for eventuality chances of handicap or loss of life in the process. Through understanding of assumptions with the theory, it becomes easier and enhanced in application of it in the real life situations that affect people in all cultural diversities.





Basavanthappa, B. T. (2007). Nursing Theories. New Delhi: Jaypee Brothers.

Leininger, M. M., & McFarland, M. R. (2006). Culture care diversity and universality: A Worldwide Nursing Theory. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.

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