Experiences and Knowledge. Taking into account the nursing theorists’ academic and professional backgrounds, the influence of their experiences and knowledge is often evident in the way they defined or described the components of the metaparadigm. For instance, Hildegard Peplau has extensive experience in psychiatric and mental health nursing and she also obtained a degree in interpersonal psychology. It is understandable then why she focused on the psychosocial aspect of nursing which is reflected in her metaparadigm. Madeleine Leininger’s knowledge of anthropology is also reflected in her integration of culture and nursing. Nola Pender has a background in psychology, education and community health nursing. The influences of these disciplines are evident in her metaparadigm. Personal Ideology. A person’s worldview shapes his or her perception of the world. For example, a theorist coming from a biomedical paradigm will understand and explain the world in terms of cause-and-effect relationships or its components. Therefore, the definition of health will most probably relate to problems or needs as the outcome of the disease process, the environment or a combination of causes. Nursing will likely be described in terms of the roles of nurses in fulfilling needs and resolving problems.
On the contrary, a theorist who leans towards a more communitarian worldview will see the world differently. Theorists using this paradigm tend to view health beyond biologic functions and objective, scientifically proven principles to also consider the patient’s situational context such as culture and subjective personal worldviews. Using this view enabled them to define the person, health, environment and nursing in a holistic and unified manner. It allows the nurse to see health and balance despite debilitating illness, accept the beliefs of others regarding care and health, or to even consider the person as an energy field.