Theory Testing and Theory Evaluation

Chapter 25: Theory Testing and Theory Evaluation*

Jacqueline Fawcett


The focus of this chapter is the science and art of theory development and evaluation. The chapter begins with a definition of theory and a description of the process of theory development and continues with a discussion of the critical thinking that is required for the evaluation of theories. The emphasis in this chapter is theory development and evaluation activities that are required for advanced practice nursing. The content of this chapter is especially relevant to two of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s Essentials of DoctoralColleges of Nursing’s Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice: Essential I, Scientific Underpinnings for Practice, and Essential III, Clinical Scholarship and Analytical Methods for Evidence-Based Practice.