A Developmental Perspective on the Nursing Diagnosis of Fear and Anxiety

Sharon Ogden Burke


Jakob and Jones are to be applauded for the clinical base in which their research is couched for it is here that the ultimate answers to the question they pose lie. Having been faced with a parallel conundrum in trying to define and differentiate between stress and strain (Burke, 1978), may I suggest that the nursing usages of fear and anxiety will probably be somewhat unique and thus not completely consistent with conceptualizations found in the various theoretical camps of other disciplines. Having learned what we can from our colleagues in other fields we must move to make our own definitions as Jakob and Jones are doing.
This response to "Nursing Diagnosis: Differentiating Fear and Anxiety", will be limited to what developmental theorists, researchers and experts on the nursing of children can offer in the clarification of the relationships between fear and anxiety. This exploration has generated an additional hypothesis, expanded the range of nursing interventions and provides some possible strategies for clinicians.

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