A Concept Development for the Symptom Science Model 2.0

Emma L. Kurnat-Thoma, Letitia Y. Graves, Ruel R. Billones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background The National Institute of Nursing Research developed the National Institutes of Health symptom science model (SSM) in 2015 as a parsimonious conceptual model to guide symptom science research. Objectives This concept development paper synthesizes justifications to strengthen the original model. Methods A literature review was performed, discussions with symptom science content expert stakeholders were held, and opportunities for expanding the current model were identified. Concept elements for a revised conceptual model - the SSM 2.0 - were developed. Results In addition to the four original concept elements (complex symptom presentation, phenotypic characterization, biobehavioral factors [previously biomarker discovery], and clinical applications), three new concept elements are proposed, including social determinants of health, patient-centered experience, and policy/population health. Discussion There have been several calls to revise the original SSM from the nursing scientific community to expand its utility to other healthcare settings. Incorporating three additional concept elements can facilitate a broader variety of translational nursing research symptom science collaborations and applications, support additional scientific domains for symptom science activities, and produce more translatable symptom science to a wider audience of nursing research scholars and stakeholders during recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The revised SSM 2.0 with newly incorporated social determinants of health, patient-centered experience, and policy/population health components now empowers nursing scientists and scholars to address specific symptom science public health challenges particularly faced by vulnerable and underserved populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E48-E60
JournalNursing Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2022


  • Symptom Science Model 2.0
  • nursing research
  • social determinants of health
  • symptom management
  • symptom science research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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