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Questions about Dr. King's work

Typographical Errors and their Consequences
By Jacqueline Fawcett
Posted: 2019-07-20T05:10:00Z

A typographical error in an email sent to me about the initiation of blogs for the KING website included the word, Kong, rather than King. My immediate thought and response to this typographical error was “I am confident that we think of Imogene King’s work and that of our KING colleagues as being as strong as King Kong (the movie gorilla)” I admit that my thought of King Kong is directly attributed to my husband’s (John) fascinating with the 1933 movie about King Kong and the number of times he has played the DVD of that movie in my presence!  [insert photo].

To continue this thought, how strong is the work related to King’s Conceptual System and Theory of Goal Attainment (see In particular, how do we measure the strength of King’s pioneering work that resulted in development of her Conceptual System and developing and testing her Theory of Goal Attainment? 

Furthermore, how useful are the practice tools and research instruments that King developed? Specifically, how useful is the Goal-Oriented Nursing Record (GONR), which King (1984) developed as “[a] documentation system used to record and evaluate the nurse’s observations and actions and the client’s responses to nursing. The GONR is composed of a database, nursing diagnoses, a goal list, nursing orders, flow sheets, progress notes, and a discharge summary” (Fawcett & DeSanto-Madeya, 2013, p. 9)?

How useful is the Criterion-Referenced Measure of Goal Attainment Tool (CRMGAT) (King, 1988), which can be “[u]sed to assess, plan, and evaluate nursing in terms of the client’s physical ability to perform activities of daily living (ADL), level of consciousness, hearing, vision, smell, taste, touch, speaking ability, listening ability, reading and writing abilities, nonverbal communication, and decision-making ability; response to the performance of ADL; and goals to be attained” (Fawcett & DeSanto-Madeya, 2013, pp. 90-91)? 

Measuring the strength of work done by King and by those whose work is based on King’s Conceptual System and/or Theory of Goal Attainment requires considerable thought. Is the number of members of KING (see a measure of the strength at least of interest in King’s work? Is counting citations obtained by a search of electronic databases, such as the Comprehensive Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL Complete) and Dissertation Abstracts International, a valid and reliable measure of strength? Is counting the number of conferences at which presentations based on King’s work another valid and reliable measure of strength? Is counting the number of clinical agencies that have adopted King’s work as a guide for nursing practice another way to measure strength?  

I welcome readers’ thoughts about how to measure the strength of King’s work. Will measurement of strength tell us whether King’s work is, indeed, as strong as King Kong?

Jacqueline Fawcett, 
RN; PhD; ScD (hon); FAAN; ANEF
Professor, Department of Nursing, University of Massachusetts Boston



Fawcett, J., & DeSanto-Madeya, S. (2013). Contemporary nursing knowledge: Analysis and evaluation of nursing models and theories (3rd ed.). Philadelphia, PA: F. A. Davis.

King, I.M. (1984). Effectiveness of nursing care: Use of a goal-oriented nursing record in end stage renal disease. American Association of Nephrology Nurses and Technicians Journal, 11(2); 11–17, 60.

King, I.M. (1988). Measuring health goal attainment in patients. In C.F. Waltz & O.L. Strickland (Eds.), Measurement of nursing outcomes. Vol. 1. Measuring client outcomes (pp. 108–127). New York: Springer.

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