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Duffy’s Quality-Caring Model in Family Practice

The model of nursing care

The observed nursing model is Duffy’s Quality-Caring Model focuses that caring relationships which are often lacking in modern professional nursing due to overwhelming responsibilities. The model views health as a dynamic state that encompasses physical, emotional, and spiritual factors, thus providing nurses with value-based methods to establish connections. Since patients feel cared for, they are willing to open up and work together to change patterns of health.

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The model was observed in a family practice setting, where nurses took the time to engage in quality communication with patients, and through this where able to collect some patient history including social and home lives, responsibilities, daily routines, and concerns or worries. Nurses used communication principles such as verbal and nonverbal behaviors, cultural sensitivity, encouragement, and comforting to help patients feel safe as well as better comprehend their health and treatment. The approach was supported by leadership and physicians who wanted nurses to go beyond systematic and traditional biomedical models, by focusing on the human factor which plays a significant role in family medicine practice.

A study by Compton, Gildemeyer, Mason, Hartranft, and Sutton (2018) focused on the implementation of the Duffy’s Quality-Caring Model in nursing practice in an oncological setting. It had the objective to determine how patients perceive nursing care behaviors. It was found that under the model the study participants indicated a very positive perception of caring. Patients highlighted their understanding of illness, ways of thinking, and belief in oneself as some beneficial factors. The model implementation in this study emphasized mutual problem solving and understanding unique patient needs. Authors of the study indicate that using this approach and understanding patient perceptions in comparison to how nurses view caring behavior, can provide numerous opportunities for improvement.

The article by Pajnkihar, McKenna, Štiglic, & Vrbnjak (2017) seeks to analyze the usefulness and practicality of Watson’s Theory of Human Caring model in nursing education and practice. The theory is described as the heart of contemporary nursing, emphasizing caring as a consciousness and an ethical, moral, and philosophical value to guide practice. The authors then go on to analyze the theory and its metaparadigm concepts and its practicability.

They conclude that Watson’s theory is highly valuable and practical in the scope of nursing core knowledge and provides description of concepts that informs nurisng education, research, and practice while still understand patients as human beings. It is a holistic framework of care that empowers caring relationships but also helps nurses in developing autonomy in practice. Therefore, in daily practice, the adaptation of this model can bring many benefits.

The implementation of the different nursing care model

In various contexts, nursing caring relationships has a positive impact on health and quality of life. Nursing care implies that patient needs are met and their concerns are heard, leading to the best available treatment. The caritas processes described in the theory can be implemented in practice both through small and large actions ranging from offering altruistic assistance and expression of feelings in personal interactions with patients to establishing an environment with holistic approach that is beneficial to health of the patients.

Clinical documentation systems that capture caritive factors, communication tools to enhance patient interaction, use of evidence-based care to ensure better outcomes are all part of the implementation of the Watson model. As a result, quality of care increases alongside with staff satisfaction that often feels fulfilled and supported in such frameworks of care (Ozan, Okumus, & Lash, 2015).

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From the examination of the two models, I learned that caring and caritive factors are highly important for patient care and satisfaction. Although similar, the two models offer distinctive approaches to care. Duffy’s model is more relationship-based building connections in the daily business of nursing responsibilities. Watson’s framework meanwhile is generalized to encompass numerous aspects to create a systematic approach to care. In combination, utilizing these theories to create a nursing approach in care that emphasizes the human connection can be extremely beneficial to long-term health of patients that may feel overwhelmed in modern healthcare environments.


Compton, E., Gildemeyer, K., Mason, T., Hartranft, S., & Sutton, S. (2018). Nurses’ Caring Behaviors: The perception of patients with cancer at the time of discharge after surgery. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, 22(2), 169-174. Web.

Ozan, Y.D., Okumus, H., & Lash, A.A. (2015). Implementation of Watson’s Theory of Human Caring: A case study. International Journal of Caring Sciences, 8(1), 25-35. Web.

Pajnkihar, M., McKenna, H. P., Štiglic, G., & Vrbnjak, D. (2017). Fit for practice: Analysis and evaluation of Watson’s Theory of Human Caring. Nursing Science Quarterly, 30(3), 243-252. Web.

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