Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Graduate Nursing


The particular health needs of women have not been addressed by health care professionals. There are three reasons for this: first, only the reproductive functions of women are thought to be particularly female health problems, thus producing a severely limited scope of study on women; secondly, all other health problems are measured in terms of normal adult functioning, those norms having been set by research on adult male normalcy or pathology; and lastly, what studies have been individualized to women have been done on women only in illness situations. Dunbar et al illustrated in their comprehensive, nursing literature search the need for studies about women in their normal setting that focus on their experiences as females. As an effort to develop scientific knowledge on health behaviors of women this study examined women randomly selected from their normal place of residence. The focus of the study was two-fold: (1) Demographic factors were selected as possible predictors of health behaviors in women because of their predictive use in sociological studies and because of recommendations to do so from nursing literature. (2) The variables (demographic factors) were studied within the context of Orem's Self-Care framework so that new knowledge could be organized within a paradigm of current nursing knowledge. Orem' s framework has particular application to the primary care clinical setting and forms the theoretical basis of several publicized nursing practices at the primary care level. The importance of this area of nursing practice to the client is that it is the entry point into the health care system, and the use of a nursing practice model can make the difference between a comprehensive health care situation or the more narrowed, medical model treatment of illness. There is a potential for power in the health care system for nurses in primary care if nursing can present its unique value to the client. Orem's model interrelates the components of nursing practice person, environment, health and nursing, in a system readily applicable to primary care and easily presented to clients. The model must be strengthened by testing each construct within the framework to insure validity in application to the particular needs of each client. This paper will explore two dimensions of Orem's framework as they particularly relate to women.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Women -- South Dakota -- Health and hygiene

Self-care, Health -- South Dakota

Demographic surveys -- South Dakota

South Dakota State University Theses



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University