There are Theory Gaps in Watson’s theory. The three pillars in this scenario (Watson’s theory of human care, patient-centred care research and supportive care) have a close relationship and play an important role in shaping supportive care practice. The relationship between these three cornerstones are reciprocal and cyclical (Latham, 2012). it is through the supportive care practice that patient-centred research questions and knowledge for Watson’s theory of human care were generated. Patient-centred care research has been guiding supportive care practice and building knowledge through Watson’s theory of human care development. On the other hand, Watson’s theory of human care has been guiding patient-centred care research and improving supportive care practice.
Each of the three pillars (Watson’s theory of human care, patient-centred care research and supportive care) plays an important role in supportive care. For instance, Watson’s theory of human care has been providing foundational knowledge of supportive care concepts to enable nurse practitioners in the field to know the course of their actions. This has been helping nurses to articulate evidence that justifies the methodologies behind their practices. On the other hand, patient-centred care research has helped nurses to determine and improve supportive care. It has also helped nurses to respond to changes in the supportive care environment and government regulations.
There are two main gaps in Watson’s theory of human care and supportive care practice. Watson’s theory of human care lacks relevance in today’s supportive care practices. Due to the acuity of illnesses that require supportive care, following Watson’s theory has proved impractical. This is because Watson’s theory continuously focuses on the “spirit” and does not emphasize on physical entities of individuals. There is also a gap in Watson’s theory and supportive care practice because the level of care it calls for is impossible in a supportive care environment where there is high acuity of illness and an increased level of technology that limits the time spent with the patient.
There is a challenge when one of the three aspects (Watson’s theory of human care, patient-centred care research and supportive care) is lacking. For instance, the absence of Watson’s theory of human care would make it a challenge to design patient-centred care research questions and guide the selection of relevant data. Therefore an error margin of patient-centred research that does not use Watson’s theory should be big.