AIM: To develop a theoretical definition of self-organization to increase the understanding of the Reconceptualized Uncertainty in Illness Theory (RUIT).
BACKGROUND: Mishel described the change of the uncertainty appraisal over time in people with a chronic illness by means of the RUIT. Therefore, she introduced the concept of self-organization. However, its meaning is difficult to comprehend because its descriptions remained highly abstract.
DESIGN: A principle-based concept analysis.
DATA SOURCE: Entries of lexicons and journal publications, explicitly or implicitly addressing self-organization in the context of any social phenomenon.
REVIEW METHODS: We conducted a conceptually driven literature search in lexicons and four databases and performed citation tracking.
RESULTS: Self-organization stands for a transition between psychological instability and psychological adjustment. It is conditioned by illness-related obstacles or uncertainties that are perceived as life-threatening. This adaptation process shows overlaps with cognitive reframing and is promoted by time, resilience, social support, and positive development of the disease. It leads to empowerment and a new perspective of life and uncertainty.
CONCLUSIONS: We enhanced the understanding of the RUIT by developing a theoretical definition of self-organization on a lower level of abstraction and by proposing a new approximation for the operationalization by means of cognitive reframing.
- cognitive reframing
- concept analysis
- reconceptualized uncertainty in illness theory
- uncertainty in illness theory
- Social Support
- Chronic Disease
- Adaptation, Psychological
- Concept Formation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nursing (all)