Case Study Example on the Web of Causation Theory

2 pages
347 words
Middlebury College
Type of paper: 
Case study
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One of the frequently discussed and used theories is the web of causation theory that seeks to understand how disease is caused through the interaction of a chain of events and occurrences. The theory relies on the assumption that disease is not caused by a single agent or factor but rather a chain or web of interacting factors which lead to the deterioration of the human body function (Wemrell, Merlo, Mulinari, & Hornborg, 2016). The theory then proceeds to confine disease along its epidemiological characteristics describing the frequency and distribution of the disease, and from this, assess determinants and possible causes of the disease (Wemrell, Merlo, Mulinari, & Hornborg, 2016). Knowledge and application of this theory helps nurses in determining intervention and preventive measures. The intervention is structured towards elimination of the disease, and the preventive measures accounting for eliminating the risks of progression or reoccurrence.

Following on the model, an Intensive Care Unit Nurse is able to determine the relationship between exposure to risks and the actual disease. Based on this, the nurse can identify the main disease in a complex system of symptoms and disease outcomes in order to develop interventions for the origin of the body malfunction. In the ICU, when dealing with palliative care patients with cardiovascular diseases, the application of the web of causation theory helps in the elimination of the symptoms and their interventions and the identification of the main causative factors (Lopes, Silva, & Herdman, 2017). This contributes in the development of determination of measure that cure the disease rather than simply reducing the effects. For instance, rather than only alleviating pain, the nursing practitioner would be able to identify and intervene the base disease thereby reducing the risks of progression.



Lopes, M. V., Silva, V. M., & Herdman, T. H. (2017). Causation and validation of nursing diagnoses: A middle range theory. International journal of nursing knowledge, 28(1), 53-59.

Wemrell, M., Merlo, J., Mulinari, S., & Hornborg, A. C. (2016). Contemporary epidemiology: a review of critical discussions within the discipline and a call for further dialogue with social theory. Sociology Compass, 10(2), 153-171.

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