Dorothea Orem

Dorothea Elizabeth Orem (1914 – June 22, 2007), born in Baltimore, Maryland, was a nursing theorist and founder of the Orem model of nursing, or Self Care Deficit Nursing Theory.

In simplest terms, this theory states that nurses have to supply care when the patients cannot provide care to themselves. By measuring the clients deficit relative to self care needs.


  • 1930 exams at the nursing for the sick school in Washington DC
  • occupation-accompanying study of the
  • 1945 conclusion of the master OF Science OF Education to the Catholic University OF America, Washington (D.C.)
  • 1970 establishment of their consulting firm to care and training
  • 1971 publication of their theory of the self care

 Self care concept after Orem

In the year 1958 Dorothea Orem began with the development as well as the testing of its theory of the self care, which her to 1971 in the book "“only-sing concepts OF practice"” published. It receives to today acknowledgment in the professional world, whereby the largest point of criticism of its theory consists of the fact that it proceeds from "“disturbed functions"” of humans and thus develops a rather negative aspect. Their definitions have a high value in the care science.


  • Only-sing - concepts OF practice. 1971; 41991 (Dt.: Structure concepts of care practice. Berlin; Wiesbaden: Ullstein Mosby 1997 ISBN 3-86126-548-6)


  • Connie M. Dennis: Dorothea Orem: Self care and self care deficit theory. Berne and others: Huber 2001 ISBN 3-456-83300-8

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