·Read chapter 14 about Dorotea Orem’s Theory: “Self-Care Deficit Theory of Nursing” and look for at least one article online about her theory. Give your own Opinion about her theory, provide your own definitions for: Self-Care, Dependent-Care, Self-care deficit and Dependent-Care deficit. Use APA7 format in your Word document. Provide at least two references, one of them must be your textbook. Minimum 300 words, no maximum.

Dorotea Orem’s theory, known as the “Self-Care Deficit Theory of Nursing,” is a prominent framework in the field of nursing that focuses on patients’ abilities to care for themselves. Orem developed this theory based on the premise that individuals have the natural ability to take care of themselves and retain their health. However, when individuals are unable to meet their self-care needs, nurses have a role in providing care to bridge the deficit. In this essay, I will provide my opinion on Orem’s theory and offer definitions for key concepts such as self-care, dependent-care, self-care deficit, and dependent-care deficit.

Orem’s theory is significant in nursing because it emphasizes the importance of patient autonomy and self-management in maintaining their health. By recognizing that individuals have the ability and responsibility to care for themselves, Orem’s theory promotes a patient-centered approach. This approach focuses on empowering patients to actively participate in their care, fostering their independence and self-reliance.

Self-care can be defined as the activities individuals engage in to maintain their physical, emotional, and social well-being. These activities include basic activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, feeding, and dressing, as well as more complex tasks like managing medications or following a prescribed exercise routine. Self-care involves recognizing one’s needs and taking appropriate action to meet those needs.

Dependent-care, on the other hand, refers to the assistance provided by others when individuals are unable to perform their self-care activities independently. It encompasses the support given by nurses, caregivers, or family members to meet the needs of individuals who are unable to care for themselves due to physical or cognitive impairments. Dependent-care aims to compensate for the self-care deficits experienced by these individuals and promote their health and well-being.

The concept of self-care deficit arises when individuals are incapable of meeting their own self-care needs. It is characterized by an inability to perform ADLs or manage health-related responsibilities due to physical or mental limitations. Orem asserts that self-care deficits can occur in three ways: developmental self-care deficit, situational self-care deficit, and health deviation self-care deficit. A developmental self-care deficit is observed when an individual experiences a lack of knowledge or skill necessary to fulfill their self-care needs at a particular stage of life. For example, a child may require assistance in learning how to brush their teeth. A situational self-care deficit occurs when individuals cannot meet their self-care needs temporarily due to circumstances such as illness, hospitalization, or surgery. Lastly, a health deviation self-care deficit is present when individuals experience a chronic or long-term health condition that hinders their ability to perform certain self-care activities independently.

Similarly, a dependent-care deficit refers to the inability of individuals to receive the necessary support and assistance from others to maintain their health and well-being. This deficit arises when individuals do not have access to adequate care or when caregivers are unable or unwilling to fulfill their responsibilities. In these cases, nurses have a crucial role in identifying and addressing the dependent-care deficits, and collaborating with other healthcare professionals or support systems to ensure the patient’s needs are met.

In conclusion, I find Orem’s self-care deficit theory to be a valuable framework in nursing. It emphasizes the importance of patient autonomy and self-management, while recognizing the need for nurses to bridge the gap when individuals cannot meet their self-care needs. Self-care, dependent-care, self-care deficit, and dependent-care deficit are integral concepts in this theory. Self-care refers to individuals’ ability to care for themselves, while dependent-care signifies the assistance provided by others. Self-care deficit occurs when individuals are incapable of meeting their own self-care needs, and dependent-care deficit arises when individuals lack access to necessary support. Orem’s theory provides a comprehensive understanding of the nursing process and helps guide nurses in their efforts to promote patient independence and well-being.


Orem, D. E., Taylor, S. G., & Renpenning, K. M. (2001). Nursing concepts of practice. Mosby.

Taylor, S. G., Renpenning, K. M., & Taylor, M. E. (2011). Self-care science, nursing theory, and evidence-based practice. Springer Publishing Company.

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