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Faye G.

Patient-Centered Approaches to Nursing
The focus of care pendulum

The nursing-centered orientation to client care seems contrary to the client-centered approach that Abdellah professes to
uphold. The apparent contradiction can be explained by her desire to move away from a disease-centered orientation. In her
attempt to bring nursing practice to its proper relationship with restorative and preventive measures for meeting total client
needs, she seems to swing the pendulum to the opposite pole, from the disease orientation to nursing orientation, while
leaving the client somewhere in the middle.

Major Concepts
She describe the recipients of nursing
as individuals (and families), although
she does not delinate her beliefs or
assumptions about the nature of
human beings.
Health, or the achieving of it, is the
purpose of nursing services. Although
Abdellah does not give a definition of
health, she speaks to total health
needs and a healthy state of mind
and body. (Abdellah et al., 1960)
Health may be defined as the dynamic
pattern of functioning whereby there is
a continued interaction with internal
and external forces that results in the
optimal use of necessary resources to
minimize vulnerabilities. (Abdellah &
Levine, 1986; Torres & Samton, 1982).
Society is included in planning for
optimum health on local, state, and
international levels. However, as
Abdellah further delineates her ideas,
the focus of nursing service is clearly
the individual.
Nursing Problems

Twenty-one Nursing
Problems (Abdellah, 1960)
1. To maintain good hygiene and
physical comfort.
2. To promote optimal activity:
exercise, rest, and sleep.
3. To promote safety through the
prevention of accidents, injury, or
other trauma and through the
prevention of the spread of infection.
4. To maintain good body mechanics
and prevent and correct deformities.
5. To facilitate the maintenance of a
supply of oxygen to all body cells.
6. To facilitate the maintenance of
nutrition of all body cells.
7. To facilitate the maintenance of
8. To facilitate the maintenance of fluid
and electrolyte balance.

The clients health needs can be viewed

as problems, which may be overt as an
apparent condition, or covert as a
hidden or concealed one.

9. To recognize the physiological

responses of the body to disease
conditions pathological,
physiological, and compensatory.

Because covert problems can be

emotional, sociological, and
interpersonal in nature, they are often
missed or perceived incorrectly. Yet, in
many instances, solving the covert
problems may solve the overt problems
as well. (Abdellah, et al., 1960)

10. To facilitate the maintenance of

regulatory mechanisms and functions.

Problem Solving
Quality professional nursing care
requires that nurses be able to identify
and solve overt and covert nursing
problems. These requirements can be
met by the problem-solving process
involves identifying the problem,
selecting pertinent data, formulating
hypotheses, testing hypotheses
through the collection of data, and
revising hypotheses when necessary on
the basis of conclusions obtained from
the data. (Abdellah & Levine, 1986)

11. To facilitate the maintenance of

sensory functions.
12. To identify and accept positive and
negative expressions, feelings, and
13. To identify and accept the
interrelatedness of emotions and
organic illness.
14. To facilitate the maintenance of
effective verbal and nonverbal
15. To promote the development of
productive interpersonal relationships.
16. To facilitate progress toward
achievement of personal spiritual
17. To create and/or maintain a
therapeutic environment.
18. To facilitate awareness of self as an
individual with varying physical,
emotional, and developmental needs.
19. To accept the optimum possible
goals in the light of limitations,
physical and emotional.
20. To use community resources as an
aid in resolving problems arising from
21. To understand the role of social
problems as influencing factors in the

case of illness.


Abdellahs (Abdellah, Beland, Martin, & Matheney, 1973) assumptions relate to change and
anticipated changes that affect nursing; the need to appreciate the interconnectedness of social
enterprises and social problems; the impact of problems such as poverty, racism, pollution,
education, and so forth on health and health care delivery; changing nursing education;
continuing education for professional nurses; and development of nursing leaders from
underserved groups.
According to Abdellah and coworkers (1960), nurses should do the following:
1.Learn to know the patient.
2. Sort out relevant and significant data.
3. Make generalizations about available data in relation to similar nursing problems presented
by other patients.
4. Identify the therapeutic plan.
5. Test generalizations with the patient and make additional generalizations.
6. Validate the patients conclusions about his nursing problems.
7. Continue to observe and evaluate the patient over a period of time to identify any attitudes
and clues affecting this behavior.
8. Explore the patients and familys reaction to the therapeutic plan and involve them in the
9. Identify how the nurse feels about the patients nursing problems.
10. Discuss and develop a comprehensive nursing care plan.

As a logical and simple statement, Abdellahs problem-solving approach can easily be used by
practitioners to guide various activities within their nursing practice.
The language of Abdellahs framework is readable and clear.
The theoretical statement places heavy emphasis on problem solving, an activity that is
inherently logical in nature.

The problem-solving approach is readily generalizable to client with specific health needs and
specific nursing problems.
The major limitation to Abdellahs theory and the 21 nursing problems is their very strong
nurse-centered orientation.
Little emphasis on what the client is to achieve was given in terms of client care.
Failure of the framework to provide a perspective on humans and society in general limits the
generalizability of the theory.
Abdellahs framework is inconsistent with the concept of holism. The nature of the 21 nursing
problems attests to this. As a result, the client may be diagnosed as having numerous
problems that would lead to fractionalized care efforts, and potential problems might be
overlooked because the client is not deemed to be in a particular stage of illness.

With the aim of Abdellah in formulating a clear categorization of patients problems as health
needs, she rather conceptualized nurses actions in nursing care which is contrary to her aim.
Nurses roles were defined to alleviate the problems assessed through the proposed problemsolving approach.
The problem-solving approach introduced by Abdellah has the advantage of increasing the
nurses critical and analytical thinking skills since the care to be provided would be based on
sound assessment and validation of findings.
One can identify that the framework is strongly applied to individuals as the focus of nursing
care. The inclusion of an aggregate of people such as the community or society would make the
theory of Abdellah more generalizable since nurses do not only provide one-person service
especially now that the community healthcare level is sought to have higher importance than
curative efforts in the hospital.

Virginia Henderson
The Principles and Practice of Nursing
I believe that the function the nurse performs is primarily an independent one that of acting for the patient when he lacks
knowledge , physical strength, or the will to act for himself as he would ordinarily act in health, or in carrying out prescribed
therapy. This function is seen as complex and creative, as offering unlimited opportunity for the application of the physical,
biological, and social sciences and the development of skills based on them. (Henderson, 1960)

Major Concepts


Human or Individual

14 Activities for Client Assistance

Henderson considers the biological, psychological,

sociological, and spiritual components.

1. Breathe normally

She defined the patient as someone who needs nursing

care, but did not limit nursing to illness care.

2. Eat and drink adequately

Society or Environment

3. Eliminate body wastes

4. Move and maintain desirable postures

She did not define environment, but maintaining a

supportive environment is one of the elements of her 14

5. Sleep and rest

She supports the tasks of private and public health

agencies keeping people healthy.

8. Keep the body clean and well groomed and protect

the integument

She believes that society wants and expects the nurses

service of acting for individuals who are unable to
function independently.

9. Avoid dangers in the environment and avoid injuring


6. Select suitable clothes dress and undress

She sees individuals in relation to their families but
minimally discusses the impact of the community on the 7. Maintain body temperature within normal range by
adjusting clothing and modifying environment
individual and family.


Psychological Aspects of Communicating and


Health was not explicitly defined, but it is taken to mean 10. Communicate with others in expressing emotions,
needs, fears, or opinions
balance in all realms of human life.

Henderson believed that the unique function of the
nurse is to assist the individual, sick or well, in the
performance of those activities contributing to health or
its recovery (or to a peaceful death) that he would
perform unaided if he had the necessary strength, will or
knowledge. And to do this in such a way as to help him
gain independence as rapidly as possible. (Henderson,

14. Learn, discover, or satisfy the curiosity that leads to

normal development and health and use the available
health facilities
Spiritual and Moral
11. Worship according to ones faith
Sociologically Oriented to Occupation and
12. Work in such a way that there is sense of
13. Play or participate in various forms of recreation
It is equally important to realize that these needs are
satisfied by infinitely varied pattern of living, no two of
which are alike. (Henderson, 1960)

Nurses care for patients until patients can care for themselves once again.
Patients desire to return to health.
Nurses are willing to serve and that nurses will devote themselves to the patient day and night. (Henderson, 1991)
Nurses should be educated at the university level in both arts and sciences.
Henderson also believes that mind and body are inseparable. It is implied that the mind and body are interrelated.
(Henderson, 1966, 1991)

Hendersons work is relatively simple yet generalizable with some limitations. Her work can be applied to the health of
individuals of all ages. Limited in a way that it can generally be applied to fully functional individuals.
Each of the 14 activities can be the basis for research. Although the statements are not written in testable terms, they may
be reformulated into researchable questions.
The concept of nursing formulated by Henderson in her definition of nursing and the 14 components of basic nursing is
uncomplicated and self-explanatory. Therefore, it can be used without difficulty as a guide for nursing practice by most
A major shortcoming in her work is the lack of a conceptual linkage between physiological and other human characteristics.

One cannot say that every individual who has similar needs indicated in the 14 activities by Henderson are the only things
that human beings need in attaining health and for survival. With the progress of todays time, there may be added needs
that humans are entitled to be provided with by nurses.
The prioritization of the 14 Activities was not clearly explained whether the first one is prerequisite to the other. But still, it is
remarkable that Henderson was able to specify and characterize some of the needs of individuals based on Abraham
Maslows hierarchy of needs.
Some of the activities listed in Hendersons concepts can only be applied to fully functional individuals indicating that there
would always be patients who always require aided care which is in contrary to the goal of nursing indicated in the definition
of nursing by Henderson.

Because of the absence of a conceptual diagram, interconnections between the concepts and subconcepts of Hendersons
principle are not clearly delineated.

Lydia E. Hall
The Aspects of Care, Core, Cure

Care and Core Predominate

Halls Three Aspects of Nursing
As Hall (1965) says; To look at and listen to self is often too difficult without the help of a significant figure (nurturer) who has
learned how to hold up a mirror and sounding board to invite the behaver to look and listen to himself. If he accepts the
invitation, he will explore the concerns in his acts and as he listens to his exploration through the reflection of the nurse, he
may uncover in sequence his difficulties, the problem area, his problem, and eventually the threat which is dictating his outof-control behavior.

Major Concepts


The individual human who is 16 years of age or older

and past the acute stage of a long-term illness is the
focus of nursing care in Halls work. The source of
energy and motivation for healing is the individual care
recipient, not the health care provider. Hall emphasizes
the importance of the individual as unique, capable of
growth and learning, and requiring a total person

The Care Circle

Health can be inferred to be a state of self-awareness

with conscious selection of behaviors that are optimal
for that individual. Hall stresses the need to help the
person explore the meaning of his or her behavior to
identify and overcome problems through developing
self-identity and maturity.
The concept of society/environment is dealt with in

It represents the nurturing component of nursing and is

exclusive to nursing. Nurturing involves using the
factors that make up the concept of mothering (care and
comfort of the person) and provide for teachinglearning activities.
The professional nurse provides bodily care for the
patient and helps the patient complete such basic daily
biological functions as eating, bathing, elimination, and
dressing. When providing this care, the nurses goal is
the comfort of the patient.
Providing care for a patient at the basic needs level
presents the nurse and patient with an opportunity for
closeness. As closeness develops, the patient can share

relation to the individual. Hall is credited with

developing the concept of Loeb Center because she
assumed that the hospital environment during treatment
of acute illness creates a difficult psychological
experience for the ill individual (Bowar-Ferres, 1975).
Loeb Center focuses on providing an environment that
is conducive to self-development. In such a setting, the
focus of the action of the nurses is the individual, so that
any actions taken in relation to society or environment
are for the purpose of assisting the individual in
attaining a personal goal.
Nursing is identified as consisting of participation in
the care, core, and cure aspects of patient care.

and explore feelings with the nurse.

The Core Circle
It is based in the social sciences, involves the
therapeutic use of self, and is shared with other
members of the health team. The professional nurse, by
developing an interpersonal relationship with the
patient, is able to help the patient verbally express
feelings regarding the disease process and its effects.
Through such expression, the patient is able to gain
self-identity and further develop maturity.
The professional nurse, by the use of reflective
technique (acting as a mirror to the patient), helps the
patient look at and explore feelings regarding his or her
current health status and related potential changes in
Motivations are discovered through the process of
bringing into awareness the feelings being experienced.
With this awareness, the patient is now able to make
conscious decisions based on understood and accepted
feelings and motivation.
The Cure Circle
It is based in the pathological and therapeutic sciences
and is shared with other members of the health team.
During this aspect of nursing care, the nurse is an active
advocate of the patient.

The motivation and energy necessary for healing exist within the patient, rather than in the health care team.
The three aspects of nursing should not be viewed as functioning independently but as interrelated.
The three aspects interact, and the circles representing them change size, depending on the patients total course of

The use of the terms care, core, and cure are unique to Hall.
Halls work appears to be completely and simply logical.
Halls work is simple in its presentation. However, the openness and flexibility required for its application may not be so
simple for nurses whose personality, educational preparation, and experience have not prepared them to function with
minimal structure. This and the self-imposed age and illness requirements limit the generalizability.

Hall imposed an age requirement for the application of her theory which is 16 years of age and above. This limits the theory
since it cannot be disregarded that nurses are faced with pediatric clients every now and then. Even though Hall confined
her concepts for that age bracket, the concepts of care, core and cure can still be applied to every age group but again,
none was specified.
The only tool of therapeutic communication Hall discussed is reflection. By inference, all other techniques of therapeutic
communication are eliminated. Reflection is not always the most effective technique to be used.
The concept of a patient aggregate such as having families and communities as the focus of nursing practice was not
tackled. It is purely on the individual himself. Although, the role of the family or the community within the patients
environment was modestly discussed.
In the focus of nursing care in Halls concepts, the individual must pass an acute stage of illness for you to successfully

apply her theory. Therefore, this theory relates only to those who are ill. This indicates that no nursing contact with healthy
individuals, families, or communities, and it negates the concept of health maintenance and disease prevention.

Hildegard E. Peplau
Theory of Interpersonal Relations
Factors Influencing the Blending of the Nurse-patient Relationship

According to Peplau (1952/1988), nursing is therapeutic because it is a healing art, assisting an individual who is sick or in
need of health care. Nursing can be viewed as an interpersonal process because it involves interaction between two or more
individuals with a common goal. In nursing, this common goal provides the incentive for the therapeutic process in which the
nurse and patient respect each other as individuals, both of them learning and growing as a result of the interaction. An
individual learns when she or he selects stimuli in the environment and then reacts to these stimuli.

Major Concepts


Peplau (1952/1988) defines man as an organism that

strives in its own way to reduce tension generated by
needs. The client is an individual with a felt need

Roles of the Nurse in the Therapeutic relationship

Health is defined as a word symbol that implies

forward movement of personality and other ongoing
human processes in the direction of creative,
constructive, productive, personal, and community

Stranger: offering the client the same acceptance and

courtesy that the nurse would to any stranger

Although Peplau does not directly

addresssociety/environment, she does encourage the
nurse to consider the patients culture and mores when
the patient adjusts to hospital routine.

Teacher: helping the client to learn formally or


Hildegard Peplau considers nursing to be a significant,

therapeutic, interpersonal process. She defines it as a
human relationship between an individual who is sick,
or in need of health services, and a nurse specially
educated to recognize and to respond to the need for

Surrogate: serving as a substitute for another such as a

parent or a sibling

Therapeutic nurse-client relationship

A professional and planned relationship between client
and nurse that focuses on the clients needs, feelings,
problems, and ideas.
Nursing involves interaction between two or more
individuals with a common goal. The attainment of this
goal, or any goal, is achieved through a series of steps
following a sequential pattern.
Four Phases of the therapeutic nurse-patient

The primary roles she identified are as follows:

Resource person: providing specific answers to

questions within a larger context

Leader: offering direction to the client or group

Counselor: promoting experiences leading to health for

the client such as expression of feelings
Peplau also believed that the nurse could take on many
other roles, including consultant, tutor, safety agent,
mediator, administrator, observer, andresearcher. These
were not defined in detail but were left to the
intelligence and imagination of the readers. (Peplau,
Four Levels of Anxiety
1. Mild anxiety is a positive state of heightened
awareness and sharpened senses, allowing the person to
learn new behaviors and solve problems. The person
can take in all available stimuli (perceptual field).
2. Moderate anxiety involves a decreased perceptual

1. The orientation phase is directed by the nurse and

involves engaging the client in treatment, providing
explanations and information, and answering questions.

field (focus on immediate task only); the person can

learn new behavior or solve problems only with
assistance. Another person can redirect the person to the

2. The identification phase begins when the client

works interdependently with the nurse, expresses
feelings, and begins to feel stronger.

3. Severe anxiety involves feelings of dread and terror.

The person cannot be redirected to a task; he or she
focuses only on scattered details and has physiologic
3. In the exploitation phase, the client makes full use of symptoms of tachycardia, diaphoresis, and chest pain.
the services offered.
4. Panic anxiety can involve loss of rational thought,
4. In the resolution phase, the client no longer needs
delusions, hallucinations, and complete physical
professional services and gives up dependent behavior.
immobility and muteness. The person may bolt and run
The relationship ends.
aimlessly, often exposing himself or herself to injury.
Anxiety was defined as the initial response to a psychic

Nurse and patient can interact.
Peplau stresses that both the patient and nurse mature as the result of the therapeutic interaction.
Communication and interviewing skills remain fundamental nursing tools.
Peplau believed that nurses must clearly understand themselves to promote their clients growth and to avoid limiting clients
choices to those that nurses value.

The phases provide simplicity regarding the natural progression of the nurse-patient relationship.
This simplicity leads to adaptability in any nurse-patient interaction, thus providing generalizability.
Health promotion and maintenance were less emphasized.
The theory cannot be used in a patient who doesnt have a felt need such as with withdrawn patients.

Peplau conceptualized clear sets of nurses roles that can be used by each and every nurse with their practice. It implies that
a nurses duty is not just to care but the profession encompasses every activity that may affect the care of the patient.
The idea of a nurse-client interaction is limited with those individuals incapable of conversing, specifically those who are
The concepts are highly applicable with the care of psychiatric patients considering Peplaus background. But it is not limited
in those set of individuals. It can be applied to any person capable and has the will to communicate.
The phases of the therapeutic nurse-client are highly comparable to the nursing process making it vastly applicable.
Assessment coincides with the orientation phase; nursing diagnosis and planning with the identification phase;
implementation as to the exploitation phase; and lastly, evaluation with the resolution phase.

Ida Jean Orlando

The Dynamic Nurse-Patient Relationship
Orlandos nursing process discipline is rooted in the interaction between a nurse and a patient at a specific time and place. A
sequence of interchanges involving patient behavior and nurse reaction takes place until the patients need for help, as he

perceives it, is clarified. The nurse then decides on an appropriate action to resolve the need in cooperation with the patient.
This action is evaluated after it is carried out. If the patient behavior improves, the action was successful and the process is
completed. If there is no change or the behavior gets worse, the process recycles with new efforts to clarify the patients
behavior or the appropriate nursing action.

The action process in a person-to-person contact functioning in secret. The perceptions, thoughts, and feelings of
each individual are not directly available to the perception of the other individual through the observable action.

The action process in a person-to-person contact functioning by open disclosure. The perceptions, thoughts, and
feelings of each individual are directly available to the perception of the other individual through the observable action.

Major Concepts


Orlando uses the concept of human as she emphasizes

individuality and the dynamic nature of the nursepatient relationship. For her, humans in need are the
focus of nursing practice.

Patient Behavior

Although health is not specified by Orlando, it is

implied. In her initial work, Orlando focused on illness.
Later, she indicated that nursing deals with the
individual whenever there is a need for help. Thus a
sense of helplessness replaces the concept of health or
illness as the initiator of a need for nursing.
Orlando speaks of nursing as unique and independent
in its concerns for an individuals need for help in an
immediate situation. The efforts to meet the individuals
need for help are carried out in an interactive situation
and in a disciplined manner that requires proper

This sets the nursing process discipline in motion.

All patient behavior, no matter how insignificant, must
be considered an expression of need for help until its
meaning to a particular patient in the immediate
situation is understood.
The presenting behavior of the patient, regardless of
the form in which it appears, may represent a plea for
help (Orlando, 1990).
Patient behavior may be verbal or nonverbal.
Inconsistency between these two types of behavior may
be the factor that alerts the nurse that the patient needs

Need is defined as a requirement of the patient which,
if supplied, relieves or diminishes his immediate distress The patients behavior reflects distress when the patient
or improves his immediate sense of adequacy or wellexperiences a need that he cannot resolve, a sense of

being (Orlando, 1990). In many instances, people can

meet their own needs, do so, and do not require the help
of professional nurses. When they cannot do so, or do
not clearly understand these needs, a need for help is
In the immediacy of nursing situation, each patients
behavior must be assessed to determine whether it
expresses as need for help. Furthermore, identical
behaviors by the same patient may indicate different
needs at different times. The nursing action must also be
specifically designed for the immediate encounter.

helplessness occurs.
Some categories of patient distress are: physical
limitations, adverse reactions to the setting and
experiences which prevent the patient from
communicating his needs (Orlando, 1990).
Nurse Reaction
The patient behavior stimulated a nurse reaction, which
marks the beginning of the nursing process discipline.
This reaction is comprised of three sequential parts
(Orlando, 1972). First, the nurse perceives the behavior
through any of her senses. Second, the perception leads
to automatic thought. Finally, the thought produces an
automatic feeling.
The nurse does not assume that any aspect of her
reaction to the patient is correct, helpful, or appropriate
until she checks the validity of it in exploration with the
patient (Orlando, 1990).
The nurse must learn to identify each part of her action
so the process becomes logical rather than intuitive and
thus, disciplined rather than automatic.
Orlando (1972) also provides three criteria to ensure
that the nurses exploration of her reaction with the
patient is unsuccessful:
1. What the nurse says to the individual in the contact
must match any or all of the items contained in the
immediate reaction, and what the nurse does
nonverbally must be verbally expressed and the
expression must match one or all of the items contained
in the immediate reaction.
2. The nurse must clearly communicate to the individual
that the item being expressed belongs to herself.
3. The nurse must ask the individual about the item
expressed in order to obtain correction or verification
from that same individual.
Nurses Action
Orlando (1990) includes only what she [the nurse] says
or does with or for the benefit of the patient as
professional nursing action. The nurse initiates a
process of exploration to ascertain how the patient is
affected by what she says or does.
The nurse can act in two ways: automatic or
deliberative. Only the second manner fulfills her
professional function.
Automatic actions are those decided upon for reasons
other than the patients immediate need,
whereas deliberative actions ascertain and meet this
The following list identifies the criteria for deliberative
1. Deliberative actions result from the correct

identification of patient needs by validation of the

nurses reaction to patient behavior.
2. The nurse explores the meaning of the action with the
patient and its relevance to meeting his need.
3. The nurse validates the actions effectiveness
immediately after completing it.
4. The nurse is free of stimuli unrelated to the patients
need when she acts.

When patients cannot cope with their needs without help, they become distressed with feelings of helplessness.
Nursing, in its professional character, does add to the distress of the patient.
Patients are unique and individual in their responses.
Nursing offers mothering and nursing analogous to an adult mothering and nurturing of a child.
Nursing deals with people, environment and health.
Patient need help in communicating needs, they are uncomfortable and ambivalent about dependency needs.
Human beings are able to be secretive or explicit about their needs, perceptions, thoughts and feelings.
The nurse patient situation is dynamic, actions and reactions are influenced by both nurse and patient.
Human beings attach meanings to situations and actions that are not apparent to others.
Patients entry into nursing care is through medicine.
The patient cannot state the nature and meaning of his distress for his need without the nurses help or without her first
having established a helpful relationship with him.
Any observation shared and observed with the patient is immediately useful in ascertaining and meeting his need or finding
out that he is not in need at that time.
Nurses are concerned with needs that patients cannot meet on their own.

Use of her theory assures that the patient will be treated as individuals and they will have an active and constant input into
their own care.
Assertion of nursings independence as a profession and her belief that this independence must be based on a sound
theoretical frame work.
Guides the nurse to evaluate her care in terms of objectively observable patient outcomes.
Lack the operational definitions of society or environment which limits the development of research hypothesis.
The theory focuses on short term care, particularly aware and conscious individuals and on the virtual absence of reference
group or family members.

Compared to other nursing theories which are task oriented, Orlando gave a clear cut approach of a patient oriented nursing
theory. It uplifts the integrity of an individualized nursing care. This strengthens the role of the nurse as an independent
nurse advocate for the patient.
The dynamic concept of the nurse-patient interaction was justified since the participation of the patient in the relationship
was sought. The whole process is in constant revision through continuous validation of findings of the nurses findings with
that of the patient.

Because the nurse has to constantly explore her reactions with the patient, it prevents inaccurate diagnosis or ineffective
Since the model is applied to an immediate situation, its applicability to a long term care plan is not feasible.
The concept of interaction also limits it to individuals capable of conversing, a shared limitation with other nurse-client
dynamic theories unconscious patients are not covered by this theory.

Imogene M. King
Kings Conceptual System and Theory of Goal Attainment and Transactional
Dynamic Interacting Systems

King has interrelated the concepts of interaction, perception, communication, transaction, self, role, stress, growth and
development, time, and space into a theory of goal attainment. Her theory deals with a nurse-client dyad, a relationship to
which each person brings personal perceptions of self, role, and personal levels of growth and development. The nurse and
client communicate, first in interaction and then in transaction, to attain mutually set goals. The relationship takes place in
space identified by their behaviors and occurs in forward-moving time.


Major Concepts and Subconcepts

Open Systems Framework
Structure is presented in three open systems.
Function is demonstrated in reciprocal relations of individuals in interaction.
Resources include both people (health professionals and their clients) and money, goods, and services for items needed to
carry out specific activities.
Decision making occurs when choices are made in resource allocation to support attaining system goals.
Personal Systems

King (1990) accepts Jersilds (1952) definition ofself:

Each individual is a personal system.

The self is a composite of thoughts and feelings which

constitute a persons awareness of his individual
existence, his conception of who and what he is. A
persons self is the sum total of all he can call his. The
self includes, among other things, a system of ideas,
attitudes, values, and commitments. The self is a
persons total subjective environment. It is a distinctive
center of experience and significance. The self
constitutes a persons inner world as distinguished from
the outer world consisting of all other people and
things. The self is the individual as known to the
individual. It is that to which we refer when we say I.
Growth and development can be defined as the
processes in peoples lives through which they move
from a potential for achievement to actualization of self.
King defines body image as the way one perceives both
ones body and others reactions to ones appearance.
Space includes that space exists in all directions, is the
same everywhere, and is defined by the physical area

known as territory and by the behaviors of those

occupy it.
Time is defined as a duration between one event and
another as uniquely experienced by each human being;
it is the relation of one event to another event.
King (1986) added learning as a subconcept in the
personal system but did not further define it.
Interpersonal systemsare formed by human beings
interacting. Two interacting individuals form a dyad;
three form a triad, and four or more form small or large
groups. As the number of interacting individuals
increases, so does the complexity of the interactions.

Interactions are defined as the observable behaviors of

two or more individuals in mutual presence.
King (1990) defines communication as a process
whereby information is given from one person to
another either directly in face-to-face meeting or
indirectly through telephone, television, or the written
King defines transactions as a process of interactions
in which human beings communicate with the
environment to achieve goals that are valued goaldirected human behaviors.
The characteristics of role include reciprocity in that a
person may be a giver at one time and a taker at another
time, with a relationship between two or more
individuals who are functioning in two or more roles
that learned, social, complex, and situational.
Stress is a dynamic state whereby a human being
interacts with the environment to maintain balance for
growth, development, and performance, which involves
an exchange of energy and information between the
person and the environment for regulation and control
of stressors.
Poweris the capacity to use resources in organizations
to achieve goals is the process whereby one or more
persons influence other persons in a situation is the
capacity or ability of a person or a group to achieve
goals occurs in all aspects of life and each person has
potential power determined by individual resources and
the environmental forces encountered. Power is social
force that organizes and maintains society. Power is the
ability to use and to mobilize resources to achieve
Statusis the position of an individual in a group or a
group in relation to other groups in an organization and
is identified that status is accompanied by privileges,
duties and obligation.
Decision makingis a dynamic and systematic process
b y which goal-directed choice of perceived alternatives
is made and acted upon by individuals or groups to
answer a question and attain a goal (King, 1990).

King (1986) added control as a subconept in the social

system but did not further define the concept.
Theory of Goal Attainment
Nursing is a process of action, reaction, and interaction Perception is each persons representation of reality.
whereby nurse and client share information about their
perceptions in the nursing situation. The nurse and client Communication is defined as a process whereby
share specific goals, problems, and concerns and
information is given from one person to another either
explore means to achieve a goal.
directly in face-to-face meetings or indirectly through

telephone, television, or the written word.

Health is a dynamic life experience of a human being,
which implies continuous adjustment to stressors in the
internal and external environment through optimum use
of ones resources to achieve maximum potential for
daily living.
Individuals are social beings who are rational and
sentient. Humans communicate their thoughts, actions,
customs, and beliefs through language. Persons exhibit
common characteristics such as the ability to perceive,
to think, to feel, to choose between alternative courses
of action, to set goals, to select the means to achieve
goals, and to make decisions.
Environment is the background for human interactions.
It is both external to, and internal to, the individual.
Action is defined as a sequence of behaviors involving
mental and physical action. The sequence is first mental
action to recognize the presenting conditions; then
physical action to begin activities related to those
conditions; and finally, mental action in an effort to
exert control over the situation, combined with physical
action seeking to achieve goals.
Reaction is not specifically defined but might be
considered to be included in the sequence of behaviors
described in action.
Interaction is a process of perception and
communication between person and environment and
between person and person represented by verbal and
nonverbal behaviors that are goal-directed.

Role is defined as a set of behaviors expected of

persons occupying a position in a social system; rules
that define rights and obligations in a position; a
relationship with one or more individuals interacting in
specific situations for a purpose.
Stress is a dynamic state whereby a human being
interacts with the environment to maintain balance for
growth, development, and performance an energy
response of an individual to persons, objects, and events
called stressors.
Growth and development can be defined as the
continuous changes in individuals at the cellular,
molecular, and behavioral levels of activities the
processes that take place in the life of individuals that
help them move from potential capacity for
achievement to self-actualization.
Time is a sequence of events moving onward to the
future a continuous flow of events in successive order
that implies a change, a past and a future a duration
between one event and another as uniquely experienced
by each human being the relation of one event to
Space exists in every direction and is the same in all
directions. Space includes that physical area called
territory. Space is defined by the behaviors of those
individuals who occupy it (King, 1990).

Transaction is a process of interactions in which human

beings communicate with the environment to achieve
goals that are valued; transactions are goal-directed
human behaviors.

On the open systems framework, King stated
(1) that each human being perceives the world as a total person in making transactions with individuals an things in the
(2) that transactions represent a life situation in which perceiver and thing perceived are encountered and in which each
person enters the situation as an active participant and each is changed in the process of these experiences.
When describing individuals, the model states that
(1) individuals are social, sentient, rational, reacting beings, and
(2) individuals are controlling, purposeful, action oriented, and time oriented in their behavior (King, 1995).
Regarding nurse-client interactions, King (1981) believes that
(1) perceptions of the nurse and client influence the interaction process;
(2) goals, needs, and values of the nurse and the client influence the interaction process;
(3) individuals have a right to knowledge about themselves
(4) individuals have a right to participate in decisions that influence their lives, their health, and community services;
(5) individuals have a right to accept or reject care; and

(6) goals of health professionals and goals of recipients of health care may not be congruent.
With regard to nursing, King (1981, 1995) wrote that
(1) nursing is the care of human beings;
(2) nursing is perceiving, thinking, relating, judging, and acting vis--vis the behavior of individuals who come to a health
care system;
(3) a nursing situation is the immediate environment in which two individuals establish a relationship to cope with
situational events; and
(4) the goal of nursing is to help individuals and groups attain, maintain, and restore health. If this is not possible, nurses
help individuals die with dignity.
Nurse and patient are purposeful interacting systems.
Nurse and client perceptions, judgments, and actions, if congruent, lead to goal directed transactions.
If perceptual accuracy is present in nurse-client interactions, transactions will occur.
If nurse and client make transactions, goals will be attained.
If goals are attained, satisfaction will occur.
If goals are attained, effective nursing care will occur.
If transactions are made in nurse-client interactions, growth and development will be enhanced.
If role expectations and role performance as perceived by nurse and client are congruent, transactions will occur.
If nurses with special knowledge and skills communicate appropriate information to clients, mutual goal setting and goal
attainment will occur (King, 1981).

Kings theory of goal attainment does describe a logical sequence of events.
For the most part, concepts are clearly defined.
Although the presentation appears to be complex, Kings theory of goal attainment is relatively simple.
King formulated assumptions that are testable hypotheses for research.
Kings theory contains major inconsistencies:
(1) She indicates that nurses are concerned about the health care of groups but concentrates her discussion on nursing as
occurring in a dyadic relationship.
(2) King says that the nurse and client are strangers, yet she speaks of their working together for goal attainment and of the
importance of health maintenance.
The major limitation in relations to this characteristic is the effort required of the reader to sift through the presentation of a
conceptual framework and a theory with repeated definitions to find the basic concepts.
Another limitation relates to the lack of development of application of the theory in providing nursing care to groups, families,
or communities.
It is not parsimonious, having numerous concepts, multiple assumptions, many statements, and many relationships on a
number of levels.


The social systems portion of the open systems framework is less clearly connected to the theory of goal attainment than
are the personal and interpersonal systems.
The citation of the individual being in a social system was not clearly explained considering that the social system
encompasses other concepts and subconcepts in her theory
The model presents interaction which is dyadic in nature which implies that its applicability cannot be adapted to
unconscious individuals.
Multitude of views and definition is confusing for the reader. Because of multiple views on one concept such as what have
been discussed in her concept of power blurs the point that the theorist is trying to relate to the readers.

Jean Watson
Caring Science as Sacred Science
In todays world, nursing seems to be responding to the various demands of the machinery with less consideration of the needs of the
person attached to the machine. In Watsons view, the disease might be cured, but illness would remain because without caring, health is
not attained. Caring is the essence of nursing and connotes responsiveness between the nurse and the person; the nurse co-participates
with the person. Watson contends that caring can assist the person to gain control, become knowledgeable, and promote health changes.

Major Concepts


Society provides the values that determine how one

should behave and what goals one should strive toward.
Watson (1979) states:

Phenomenal field

Caring (and nursing) has existed in every society.

Every society has had some people who have cared for
others. A caring attitude is not transmitted from
generation to generation by genes. It is transmitted by
the culture of the profession as a unique way of coping
with its environment.
Human being is a valued person to be cared for,
respected, nurtured, understood, and assisted.

The totality of human experience of ones being in the

world. This refers to the individuals frame of reference
that can only be known to that person.
The organized conceptual gestalt composed of
perceptions of the characteristics of the I or ME and
the perceptions of the relationship of the I and ME
to others and to various aspects of life.

Health is the unity and harmony within the mind, body,

and soul; health is associated with the degree of
congruence between the self as perceived and the self as
Nursing is a human science of persons and human
health illness experiences that are mediated by
professional, personal, scientific, esthetic, and ethical
human care transactions.

The present is more subjectively real and the past is

more objectively real. The past is prior to, or in a
different mode of being than the present, but it is not
clearly distinguishable. Past, present, and future
incidents merge and fuse. (Watson, 1999)
Nursing interventions related to human care originally
referred to as carative factors have now been translated
into clinical caritas processes(Watson, 2006):

Actual caring occasion involves actions and choices by

the nurse and the individual. The moment of coming
1. The formation of a humanistic-altruistic system of
together in a caring occasion presents the two persons
values, becomes: practice of loving-kindness and
with the opportunity to decide how to be in the
equanimity within context of caring consciousness.
relationship what to do with the moment.
2. The instillation of faith-hope becomes: being
The transpersonal concept is an intersubjective human- authentically present, and enabling and sustaining the
to-human relationship in which the nurse affects and is
deep belief system and subjective life world of self and
affected by the person of the other. Both are fully
present in the moment and feel a union with the other;
they share a phenomenal field that becomes part of the
3. The cultivation of sensitivity to ones self and to
life story of both. (Watson, 1999)
others becomes: cultivation of ones own spiritual
practices and transpersonal self, going beyond ego self.
4. The development of a helping-trusting relationship
becomes: developing and sustaining a helping-trusting
authentic caring relationship.
5. The promotion and acceptance of the expression of
positive and negative feelings becomes: being present

to, and supportive of the expression of positive and

negative feelings as a connection with deeper spirit of
self and the one-being-cared-for.
6. The systematic use of the scientific problem-solving
method for decision making becomes: creative use of
self and all ways of knowing as part of the caring
process; to engage in artistry of caring-healing
7. The promotion of interpersonal teaching-learning
becomes: engaging in genuine teaching-learning
experience that attends to unity of being and meaning
attempting to stay within others frame of reference.
8. The provision for a supportive, protective, and(or)
corrective mental, physical, sociocultural, and spiritual
environment becomes: creating healing environment at
all levels (physical as well as non-physical), subtle
environment of energy and consciousness, whereby
wholeness, beauty, comfort, dignity, and peace are
9. Assistance with the gratification of human needs
becomes: assisting with basic needs, with an intentional
caring consciousness, administering human care
essentials, which potentiate alignment of
mindbodyspirit, wholeness, and unity of being in all
aspects of care, tending to both embodied spirit and
evolving spiritual emergence.
Watsons (1979) ordering of needs:
a. Lower Order Needs (Biophysical Needs)
Survival Needs
The need for food and fluid
The need for elimination
The need for ventilation
b. Lower Order Needs (Psychophysical Needs)
Functional Needs
The need for activity-inactivity
The need for sexuality
c. Higher Order Needs (Psychosocial Needs)
Integrative Needs
The need for achievement
The need for affiliation
d. Higher Order Need (Intrapersonal-Interpersonal
Growth-seeking Need
The need for self-actualization.

10. The allowance for existential-phenomenological

forces becomes: opening and attending to spiritualmysterious and existential dimensions of ones own lifedeath; soul care for self and the one-being-cared-for.

Caring can be effectively demonstrated and practiced only interpersonally.
Caring consists of carative factors that result in the satisfaction of certain human needs.
Effective caring promotes health and individual or family growth.
Caring responses accept a person not only as he or she is now but as what he or she may become.
A caring environment is one that offers the development of potential while allowing the person to choose the best action for himself or
herself at a given point in time.
Caring is more healthogenic than is curing. The practice of caring integrates biophysical knowledge with knowledge of human
behavior to generate or promote health and to provide ministrations to those who are ill. A science of caring is therefore complementary
to the science of curing.
The practice of caring is central to nursing. (Watson, 1979).
Transpersonal caring field resides within a unitary field of consciousness and energy that transcend time, space and physicality.
A transpersonal caring relationship connotes a spirit-to-spirit unitary connection within a caring moment, honoring the embodied spirit of
both practitioner and patient, within a unitary field of consciousness.
A transpersonal caring relationship transcends the ego level of both practitioner and patient, creating a caring field with new possibilities
for how to be in the moment.
The practitioners authentic intentionality and consciousness of caring has a higher frequency of energy than noncaring consciousness,
opening up connections to the universal field of consciousness and greater access to ones inner healer.
Transpersonal caring is communicated via the practitioners energetic patterns of consciousness, intentionality, and authentic presence in
a caring relationship.
Caring-healing modalities are often noninvasive, nonintrusive, natural-human, energetic environmental field modalities.
Transpersonal caring promotes self-knowledge, self-control, and self-healing patterns and possibilities.
Advanced transpersonal caring modalities draw upon multiple ways of knowing and being; they encompass ethical and relational caring,
along with those intentional consciousness modalities that are energetic in nature that honors wholeness, healing, comfort, balance,
harmony, and well-being. (Watson, 2005)

Watsons work can be used to guide and improve practice. It can provide the nurse with the most satisfying aspects of practice and can
provide the client with holistic care.
The theory is relatively simple.
Watsons work is logical in that the carative factors are based on broad assumptions that provide a supportive framework. The carative
factors are logically derived from the assumptions and related to the hierarchy of needs.
The carative factors delineate nursing from medicine.
Watsons theory becomes more complex when entering the area of existential-phenomenology, for many nurses may not have the liberal
arts background to provide the proper foundation for this area.

It is undeniable that technology has already been part of nursings whole paradigm with the evolving era of development. Watsons
suggestion of purely caring without giving much attention to technological machineries cannot be solely applied but then her statement

is praiseworthy because she dealt with the importance of the nurse patient interaction rather than a practice confined with technology.
Watson stated the term soul-satisying when giving out care for the clients. Her concepts guide the nurse to an ideal quality nursing care
provided for the patient. This would further increase the involvement of both the patient and the nurse when the experience is satisfying.
In providing the enumerated clinical caritas processes, the nurse becomes an active co-participant with the patient. Thus, quality of care
offered by the nurse is enhanced.

Madeleine M. Leininger
Culture Care Diversity and Universality
Leiningers Sunrise Model

The cultural care worldview flows into knowledge about individuals, families, groups, communities, and institutions in diverse
health care systems. This knowledge provides culturally specific meanings and expressions in relation to care and health.
The next focus is on the generic or folk system, professional care system(s), and nursing care. Information about these
systems includes the characteristics and the specific care features of each. This information allows for the identification of
similarities and differences or cultural care universality and cultural care diversity.
Next are nursing care decisions and actions which involve cultural care preservation/maintenance, cultural care
accommodation/negotiation and cultural care re-patterning or restructuring. It is here that nursing care is delivered.

Major Concepts


Transcultural nursing is defined as a learned subfield

or branch of nursing which focuses upon the

Generic (folk or lay) care systems are culturally

learned and transmitted, indigenous (or traditional), folk

comparative study and analysis of cultures with respect

to nursing and health-illness caring practices, beliefs,
and values with the goal to provide meaningful and
efficacious nursing care services to people according to
their cultural values and health-illness context.
Ethnonursing is the study of nursing care beliefs,
values, and practices as cognitively perceived and
known by a designated culture through their direct
experience, beliefs, and value system (Leininger, 1979).
Nursing is defined as a learned humanistic and
scientific profession and discipline which is focused on
human care phenomena and activities in order to assist,
support, facilitate, or enable individuals or groups to
maintain or regain their well-being (or health) in
culturally meaningful and beneficial ways, or to help
people face handicaps or death.

(home-based) knowledge and skills used to provide

assistive, supportive, enabling, or facilitative acts
toward or for another individual, group, or institution
with evident or anticipated needs to ameliorate or
improve a human life way, health condition (or wellbeing), or to deal with handicaps and death situations.
Knowledge gained from direct experience or directly
from those who have experienced. It is generic or folk

Professional care system(s) are defined as formally

taught, learned, and transmitted professional care,
health, illness, wellness, and related knowledge and
practice skills that prevail in professional institutions
usually with multidisciplinary personnel to serve
Professional nursing care (caring) is defined as formal Knowledge which describes the professional
and cognitively learned professional care knowledge
perspective. It is professional care knowledge.
and practice skills obtained through educational
institutions that are used to provide assistive,
Ethnohistory includes those past facts, events,
supportive, enabling, or facilitative acts to or for another instances, experiences of individuals, groups, cultures,
individual or group in order to improve a human health
and instructions that are primarily people-centered
condition (or well-being), disability, lifeway, or to work (ethno) and which describe, explain, and interpret
with dying clients.
human lifeways within particular cultural contexts and
over short or long periods of time.
Cultural congruent (nursing) care is defined as those
cognitively based assistive, supportive, facilitative, or
Care as a noun is defined as those abstract and concrete
enabling acts or decisions that are tailor-made to fit with phenomena related to assisting, supporting, or enabling
individual, group, or institutional cultural values,
experiences or behaviors toward or for others with
beliefs, and lifeways in order to provide or support
evident or anticipated needs to ameliorate or improve a
meaningful, beneficial, and satisfying health care, or
human condition or lifeway.
well-being services.
Care as a verb is defined as actions and activities
Health is a state of well-being that is culturally defined, directed toward assisting, supporting, or enabling
valued, and practiced, and which reflects the ability of
another individual or group with evident or anticipated
individuals (or groups) to perform their daily role
needs to ameliorate or improve a human condition or
activities in culturally expressed, beneficial, and
lifeway or to face death.
patterned lifeways.
Three modes of nursing care decisions and actions
Human beings are believed to be caring and to be
capable of being concerned about the needs, well-being, (a) Cultural care preservation is also known as
and survival of others. Leininger also indicates that
maintenance and includes those assistive, supporting,
nursing as a caring science should focus beyond
facilitative, or enabling professional actions and
traditional nurse-patient interactions and dyads to
decisions that help people of a particular culture to
include families, groups, communities, total cultures,
retain and/or preserve relevant care values so that they
and institutions.
can maintain their well-being, recover from illness, or
face handicaps and/or death.
Society/environment are not terms that are defined by
Leininger; she speaks instead of worldview, social
(b) Cultural care accommodation also known as
structure, and environmental context.
negotiation, includes those assistive, supportive,
facilitative, or enabling creative professional actions
Worldview is the way in which people look at the
and decisions that help people of a designated culture to
world, or at the universe, and form a picture or value
adapt to or negotiate with others for a beneficial or
stance about the world and their lives.
satisfying health outcome with professional care
Cultural and social structure dimensions are defined
as involving the dynamic patterns and features of
(c) Culture care repatterning, or
interrelated structural and organizational factors of a
restructuringincludes those assistive, supporting,
particular culture (subculture or society) which includes facilitative, or enabling professional actions and
religious, kinship (social), political (and legal),
decisions that help a client(s) reorder, change, or greatly
economic, educational, technologic and cultural values, modify their lifeways for new, different, and beneficial
ethnohistorical factors, and how these factors may be
health care pattern while respecting the client(s) cultural
interrelated and function to influence human behavior in values and beliefs and still providing a beneficial or

different environmental contexts.

Environmental context is the totality of an event,
situation, or particular experience that gives meaning to
human expressions, interpretations, and social
interactions in particular physical, ecological,
sociopolitical and/or cultural settings.
Culture is the learned, shared and transmitted values,
beliefs, norms, and lifeways of a particular group that
guides their thinking, decisions, and actions in patterned
Culture care is defined as the subjectively and
objectively learned and transmitted values, beliefs, and
patterned lifeways that assist, support, facilitate, or
enable another individual or group to maintain their
well-being, health, improve their human condition and
lifeway, or to deal with illness, handicaps or death.

healthier lifeway than before the changes were

coestablished with the client(s). (Leininger, 1991)

Culture shock may result when an outsider attempts to

comprehend or adapt effectively to a different cultural
group. The outsider is likely to experience feelings of
discomfort and helplessness and some degree of
disorientation because of the differences in cultural
values, beliefs, and practices. Culture shock may lead to
anger and can be reduced by seeking knowledge of the
culture before encountering that culture.
Cultural imposition refers to efforts of the outsider,
both subtle and not so subtle, to impose his or her own
cultural values, beliefs, behaviors upon an individual,
family, or group from another culture. (Leininger, 1978)

Culture care diversity indicates the variabilities and/or

differences in meanings, patterns, values, lifeways, or
symbols of care within or between collectives that are
related to assistive, supportive, or enabling human care
Culutre care universality indicates the common,
similar, or dominant uniform care meanings, pattern,
values, lifeways or symbols that are manifest among
many cultures and reflect assistive, supportive,
facilitative, or enabling ways to help people. (Leininger,

Different cultures perceive, know, and practice care in different ways, yet there are some commonalities about care among
all cultures of the world.
Values, beliefs, and practices for culturally related care are shaped by, and often embedded in, the worldview, language,
religious (or spiritual), kinship (social), political (or legal), educational, economic, technological, ethnohistorical, and
environmental context of the culture.
While human care is universal across cultures, caring may be demonstrated through diverse expressions, actions, patterns,
lifestyles, and meanings.
Cultural care is the broadest holistic means to know, explain, interpret, and predict nursing care phenomena to guide nursing
care practices.
All cultures have generic or folk health care practices, that professional practices vary across cultures, and that in any
culture there will be cultural similarities and differences between the care-receivers (generic) and the professional caregivers.
Care is distinct, dominant, unifying and central focus of nursing, and, while curing and healing cannot occur effectively
without care, care may occur without cure.
Care and caring are essential for the survival of humans, as well as for their growth, health, well-being, healing, and ability to
deal with handicaps and death.
Nursing, as a transcultural care discipline and profession, has a central purpose to serve human beings in all areas of the
world; that when culturally based nursing care is beneficial and healthy it contributes to the well-being of the client(s)
whether individuals, groups, families, communities, or institutions as they function within the context of their environments
Nursing care will be culturally congruent or beneficial only when the clients are known by the nurse and the clients patterns,
expressions, and cultural values are used in appropriate and meaningful ways by the nurse with the clients.
If clients receive nursing care that is not at least reasonably culturally congruent (that is, compatible with and respectful of
the clients lifeways, belief, and values), the client will demonstrate signs of stress, noncompliance, cultural conflicts, and/or
ethical or moral concerns.

The complexity of the Sunrise Model can be viewed as both a strength and a limitation. The complexity is a strength in that it
emphasizes the importance of the inclusion of anthropological and cultural concepts in nursing education and practice. On
the other hand, the complexity can lead to misinterpretation or rejection.
Leiniger has developed the Sunrise Model in a logical order to demonstrate the interrelationships of the concepts in her
theory of Culture Care Diversity and Universality.
Leiningers theory is essentially parsimonious in that the necessary concepts are incorporated in such a manner that the
theory and it model can be applied in many different settings.
It is highly generalizable. The concepts and relationships that are presented are at a level of abstraction which allows them
to be applied in many different situations.
Though not simple in terms, it can be easily understood upon first contact.
The theory and model are not simple in terms.

It was stated that the nurse will help the client move towards amelioration or improvement of their health practice or
condition. This statement would be of great difficulty for the nurse because instilling new ideas in a different culture might
present an intrusive intent for the insiders. Culture is a strong set of practices developed over generations which would
make it difficult to penetrate.
The whole activity of immersing yourself within a different culture is time-consuming for you to fully understand their beliefs
and practices. Another is that it would be costly in the part of the nurse.
Because of its financial constraints and unclear ways of being financially compensated, it can be the reason why nurses do
not engage much with this king of nursing approach.
Because of the intrusive nature, resistance from the insiders might impose risk to the safety of the nurse especially for
cultures with highly taboo practices.
It is highly commendable that Leininger was able to formulate a theory which is specified to a multicultural aspect of care.
On the other side, too much was given to the culture concept per se that Leininger failed to comprehensively discuss the
functions or roles of nurses. It was not stated on how to assist, support or enable the client in attuning them to an improved

Betty Neuman
The Neuman Systems Model

The Neuman Systems Model views the client as an open system that responds to stressors in the environment. The client variables are
physiological, psychological, sociocultural, developmental, and spiritual. The client system consists of a basic or core structure that is
protected by lines of resistance. The usual level of health is identified as the normal line of defense that is protected by a flexible line of
defense. Stressors are intra-, inter-, and extrapersonal in nature and arise from the internal, external, and created environments. When
stressors break through the flexible line of defense, the system is invaded and the lines of resistance are activated and the system is
described as moving into illness on a wellness-illness continuum. If adequate energy is available, the system will be reconstituted with
Nursing interventions occur through three prevention modalities. Primary prevention occurs before the stressor invades the system;
secondary prevention occurs after the system has reacted to an invading stressor; and tertiary prevention occurs after the system has
reacted to an invading stressor; and tertiary prevention occurs after secondary prevention as reconstitution is being established.

Major Concepts


Human being is viewed as an open system that

interacts with both internal and external environment
forces or stressors. The human is in constant change,
moving toward a dynamic state of system stability or
toward illness of varying degrees.


The environment is a vital arena that is germane to the

system and its function. The environment may be
viewed as all factors that affect and are affected by the

Intrapersonal stressors are those that occur within the

client system boundary and correlate with the internal

The internal environment exists within the client

system. All forces and interactive influences that are
solely within boundaries of the client system make up
this environment.
The external environment exists outside the client
Health is defined as the condition or degree of system
stability and is viewed as a continuum from wellness to
illness. When system needs are met,
optimal wellness exists. When needs are not
satisfied, illness exists. When the energy needed to
support life is not available, death occurs.
The primary concern of nursing is to define the
appropriate action in situations that are stress-related or
in relation to possible reactions of the client or client
system to stressors. Nursing interventions are aimed at
helping the system adapt or adjust and to retain, restore,

A stressor is any phenomenon that might penetrate both

the flexible and normal lines of defense, resulting in
either a positive or negative outcome.

Interpersonal stressors occur outside the client system

boundary, are proximal to the system, and have an
impact to the system.
Extrapersonal stressors also occur outside the client
system boundaries but are at a greater distance from the
system than are interpersonal stressors. An example is
social policy.
A state of balance or harmony requiring energy
exchanges as the client adequately copes with stressors
to retain, attain, or maintain an optimal level of health
thus preserving system integrity.
Degree of Reaction
The amount of system instability resulting from stressor

or maintain some degree of stability between and among invasion of the normal line of defense.
the client system variables and environmental stressors
with a focus on conserving energy.
A process of energy depletion and disorganization
moving the system toward illness or possible death.
Open System
A system in which there is a continuous flow of input
and process, output and feedback. It is a system of
organized complexity, where all elements are in

A process of energy conservation that increases

organization and complexity, moving the system toward
stability or a higher degree of wellness.

Basic Stricture and Energy Resources

The basic structure, or central core, is made up of those
basic survival factors common to the species. These
factors include the system variables, genetic features,
and strengths and weaknesses of the system parts.

The matter, energy, and information exchanged between

client and environment that is entering or leaving the
system at any point in time.

Client variables

The return and maintenance of system stability,

following treatment of stressor reaction, which may
result in a higher or lower level of wellness.

Newman views the individual client holistically and

considers the variables simultaneously and

Prevention as intervention

The physiological variable refers to the structure and

functions of the body.
The psychological variable refers to mental processes
and relationships.
The sociocultural variable refers to system functions
that relate to social and cultural expectations and
The developmental variable refers to those processes
related to development over the lifespan.

Intervention modes for nursing action and determinants

for entry of both client and nurse into the health care
Primary prevention occurs before the system reacts to a
stressor; it includes health promotion and maintenance
of wellness. Primary prevention focuses on
strengthening the flexible line of defense through
preventing stress and reducing risk factors. This
intervention occurs when the risk or hazard is identified
but before a reaction occurs. Strategies that might be
used include immunization, health education, exercise,
and lifestyle changes.

The spiritual variable refers to the influence of spiritual


Secondary prevention occurs after the system reacts to a

stressor and is provided in terms of existing symptoms.
Secondary prevention focuses on strengthening the
Flexible line of defense
internal lines of resistance and, thus, protects the basic
structure through appropriate treatment of symptoms.
A protective accordion-like mechanism that surrounds
The intent is to regain optimal system stability and to
and protects the normal line of defense from invasion by conserve energy in doing so. If secondary prevention is
unsuccessful and reconstitution does not occur, the
basic structure will be unable to support the system and
Normal line of defense
its interventions, and death will occur.
An adaptational level of health developed over time and
considered normal for a particular individual client or
system; it becomes a standard for wellness-deviance
Lines of resistance
Protection factors activated when stressors have
penetrated the normal line of defense, causing a reaction
synptomatology. (Neuman, 1995)

Tertiary prevention occurs after the system has been

treated through secondary prevention strategies. Its
purpose is to maintain wellness or protect the client
system reconstitution through supporting existing
strengths and continuing to preserve energy. Tertiary
prevention may begin at any point after system stability
has begun to be reestablished (reconstitution has
begun). Tertiary prevention tend to lead back to primary
prevention. (Neuman, 1995)

Each client system is unique, a composite of factors and characteristics within a given range of responses.
Many known, unknown, and universal stressors exist. Each differs in its potential for disturbing a clients usual stability level or normal

line of defense. The particular interrelationships of client variables at any point in time can affect the degree to which a client is protected
by the flexible line of defense against possible reaction to stressors.
Each client/client system has evolved a normal range of responses to the environment that is referred to as a normal line of defense. The
normal line of defense can be used as a standard from which to measure health deviation.
When the flexible line of defense is no longer capable of protecting the client/client system against an environmental stressor, the stressor
breaks through the normal line of defense.
The client, whether in a state of wellness or illness, is a dynamic composite of the interrelationships of the variables. Wellness is on a
continuum of available energy to support the system in an optimal state of system stability.
Implicit within each client system are internal resistance factors known as lines of resistance, which function to stabilize and realign the
client to the usual wellness state.
Primary prevention relates to general knowledge that is applied in client assessment and intervention, in identification and reduction or
mitigation of possible or actual risk factors associated with environmental stressors to prevent possible reaction.
Secondary prevention relates to symptomatology following a reaction to stressors, appropriate ranking of intervention priorities, and
treatment to reduce their noxious effects.
Tertiary prevention relates to the adjustive processes taking place as reconstitution begins and maintenance factors move the client back
in a circular manner toward primary prevention.
The client as a system is in dynamic, constant energy exchange with the environment. (Neuman, 1995)

Newman reports that the model was designed but can be used by other health disciplines, which can be viewed as either a strength or
weakness. As a strength, if multiple health disciplines use the model, a consistent approach to client care would be facilitated. As a
weakness, if the model is useful to a variety of disciplines, it is not specific to nursing and thus may not differentiate the practice of
nursing from that of other disciplines.
The major strength of the model is its flexibility for use in all areas of nursing administration, education, and practice.
Neuman has presented a view of the client that is equally applicable to an individual, a family, a group, a community, or any other
The Neuman Systems Model, particularly presented in the model diagram, is logically consistent.
The emphasis on primary prevention, including health promotion is specific to this model.
Once understood, the Neuman Systems Model is relatively simple, and has readily acceptable definitions of its components.
The major weakness of the model is the need for further clarification of terms used. Interpersonal and extrapersonal stressors need to be
more clearly differentiated.

The delineation of Neuman of three defense lines was not clearly explained. In reality, the individual resist stressors with internal and
external reflexes which were made complicated with the formulation of different levels of resistance in the open systems model of
Neuman made mention of energy sources in her model as part of the basic structure. It can be more of help when Neuman has
enumerated all sources of energy that she is pertaining to. With such, new nursing interventions as to the provision of needed energy of
the client can be conceptualized.
The holistic and comprehensive view of the client system is associated with an open system. Health and illness are presented on a
continuum with movement toward health described as negentropic and toward illness as entropic. Her use of the concept of entropy is
inconsistent with the characteristics of entropy which is closed, rather than an open system.

Martha Rogers

The Science of Unitary and Irreducible Human Beings

The Slinky

Imagine the life process moving along the Slinky spirals with the human field occupying space along the spiral and
extending out in all directions from any given location along a spiral. Each turn of the spiral exemplifies the rhythmical nature
of life, while distortions of the spiral portray deviations from natures regularities. Variations in the speed of change through
time may be perceived by narrowing or widening the distance between spirals.

Major Concepts


Human-unitary human beings


Irreducible, indivisible, multidimensionality energy

fields identified by pattern and manifesting
characteristics that are specific to the whole and which
cannot be predicted from the knowledge of the parts.

Refers to qualities exhibited by open systems; human

beings and their environment are open systems.


A nonlinear domain without spatial or temporal



Unitary human health signifies an irreducible human

field manifestation. It cannot be measured by the
parameters of biology or physics or of the social

Synergy is defined as the unique behavior of whole

systems, unpredicted by any behaviors of their
component functions taken separately.


Human behavior is synergistic.

The study of unitary, irreducible, indivisible human

and environmental fields: people and their world.
Scope of Nursing


Nursing aims to assist people in achieving their

maximum health potential. Maintenance and promotion
of health, prevention of disease, nursing diagnosis,
intervention, and rehabilitation encompass the scope of
nursings goals.
Nursing is concerned with people-all people-well and
sick, rich and poor, young and old. The arenas of
nursings services extend into all areas where there are
people: at home, at school, at work, at play; in hospital,
nursing home, and clinic; on this planet and now
moving into outer space.

The distinguishing characteristic of an energy field

perceived as a single wave.
Principles of Homeodynamics
Homeodynamics should be understood as a dynamic
version of homeostasis (a relatively steady state of
internal operation in the living system).
Principle of Reciprocy
Postulates the inseparability of man and environment
and predicts that sequential changes in life process are
continuous, probabilistic revisions occurring out of the
interactions between man and environment.

Environmental Field
Principle of Synchrony
An irreducible, indivisible, pandimensional energy
field indentified by pattern and integral with the human

This principle predicts that change in human behavior

will be determined by the simultaneous interaction of
the actual state of the human field and the actual state of

Energy Field
The fundamental unit of the living and non-living.
Field is a unifying concept. Energy signifies the
dynamic nature of the field; a field is in continuous
motion and is infinite.
An energy field identifies the conceptual boundaries of
man. This field is electrical in nature, is in continual
state of flux, and varies continuously in its intensity,
density, and extent. (Rogers, 1970)

the environmental field at any given point in spacetime.

Principle of Integrality (Synchrony + Reciprocy)
Because of the inseparability of human beings and their
environment, sequential changes in the life processes
are continuous revisions occurring from the interactions
between human beings and their environment.
Between the two entities, there is a constant mutual
interaction and mutual change whereby simultaneous
molding is taking place in both at the same time.
Principle of Resonancy
It speaks to the nature of the change occurring between
human and environmental fields. The life process in
human beings is a symphony of rhythmical vibrations
oscillating at various frequencies.
It is the identification of the human field and the
environmental field by wave patterns manifesting
continuous change from longer waves of lower
frequency to shorter waves of higher frequency.
Principle of Helicy
The human-environment field is a dynamic, open
system in which change is continuous due to the
constant interchange between the human and
This change is also innovative. Because of constant
interchange, an open system is never exactly the same
at any two moments; rather, the system is continually
new or different. (Rogers, 1970)

Man is a unified whole possessing his own integrity and manifesting characteristics that are more than and different from the
sum of his parts.
Man and environment are continuously exchanging matter and energy with one another.
The life process evolves irreversibly and unidirectionally along the space-time continuum.
Pattern and organization identify man and reflect his innovative wholeness.
Man is characterized by the capacity for abstraction and imagery, language and thought, sensation and emotion. (Rogers,

Rogers concepts provide a worldview from which nurses may derive theories and hypotheses and propose relationships
specific to different situations.
Rogers work is not directly testable due to lack of concrete hypotheses, but it is testable in principle.
It is an abstract, unified, and highly derived framework and does not define particular hypotheses or theories.
Concepts are not directly measurable thus testing the concepts validity is questionable.
It is difficult to comprehend because the concepts are extremely abstract.

Nurses roles were not clearly defined.

No concrete definition of health state.

Apart from the usual way of other nurse theorists in defining the major concepts of a theory, Rogers gave much focus on
how a nurse should view the patient. She developed principles which emphasizes that a nurse should view the client as a
Her statements remind every nurse practitioner that to retain the integrity of the individual, he or she should be viewed as
one complex system interacting with the environment and care should not be fractionalized in different categories.
Being given with as wide range of principles and statements from Rogers, an aspiring nurse theorist can develop his or her
own concepts guided with her work. Her assumptions are not confined with a specific nursing approach making it highly

Dorothy Johnson
The Behavioral System Model

Johnsons Model (Torres, 1986)

Johnsons Behavioral System Model is a model of nursing care that advocates the fostering of efficient and effective behavioral
functioning in the patient to prevent illness. The patient is identified as a behavioral system composed of seven behavioral subsystems:
affiliative, dependency, ingestive, eliminative, sexual, aggressive, and achievement. The three functional requirements for each
subsystem include protection from noxious influences, provision for a nurturing environment, and stimulation for growth. An imbalance
in any of the behavioral subsystems results in disequilibrium. It is nursings role to assist the client to return to a state of equilibrium.

Major Concepts


Johnson (1980) views human beings as having two

major systems: the biological system and the behavioral
system. It is the role of medicine to focus on the
biological system, whereas nursings focus is the
behavioral system.


The concept of human being was defined as a

behavioral system that strives to make continual
adjustments to achieve, maintain, or regain balance to
the steady-state that is adaptation.

Factors outside the system that influence the systems

behavior, but which the system lacks power to change.

Environment is not directly defined, but it is implied to

include all elements of the surroundings of the human
system and includes interior stressors.

The point that differentiates the interior of the system

from the exterior.

The parts of the system that make up the whole.



Health is seen as the opposite of illness, and Johnson

defines it as some degree of regularity and constancy

in behavior, the behavioral system reflects adjustments
and adaptations that are successful in some way and to
some degree adaptation is functionally efficient and
Nursing is seen as an external regulatory force which
acts to preserve the organization and integration of the
patients behavior at an optimal level under those
conditions in which the behavior constitutes a threat to
physical or social health, or in which illness is found.

Process of maintaining stability.

Balance or steady-state in maintaining balance of
behavior within an acceptable range.
A stimulus from the internal or external world that
results in stress or instability.

Behavioral system


Man is a system that indicates the state of the system

through behaviors.

The systems adjustment to demands, change or growth,

or to actual disruptions.



That which functions as a whole by virtue of organized

independent interaction of its parts.

State in which the system output of energy depletes the

energy needed to maintain stability.


Seven Subsystems (Johnson, 1980)

A minisystem maintained in relationship to the entire

system when it or the environment is not disturbed.

1. Attachment or affiliative subsystem serves the

need for security through social inclusion or intimacy
2. Dependency subsystem behaviors designed to get
attention, recognition, and physical assistance
3. Ingestive subsystem fulfills the need to supply the
biologic requirements for food and fluids
4. Eliminative subsystem functions to excrete wastes
5. Sexual subsystem serves the biologic requirements
of procreation and reproduction
6. Aggressive subsystem functions in self and social
protection and preservation
7. Achievement subsystem functions to master and
control the self or the environment
The predisposition to act. It implies that despite having
only a few alternatives from which to select a
behavioral response, the individual will rank those
options and choose the option considered most
Consequences or purposes of action.
Functional requirements
Input that the system must receive to survive and
Three functional requirements of humans(Johnson,
1. To be protected from noxious influences with which
the person cannot cope
2. To be nurtured through the input of supplies from the

3. To be stimulated to enhance growth and prevent


Assumptions on Behavioral Systems
Johnson cites Chin (1961) as the source for her first assumption. There is organization, interaction, interdependency, and integration of
the parts and elements of behavior that go to make up the system.
A system tends to achieve a balance among the various forces operating within and upon it (Chin, 1961), and that man strives
continually to maintain a behavioral system balance and steady states by more or less automatic adjustments and adaptations to the
natural forces impinging upon him.
The individual is continually presented with situations in everyday life that require adaptation and adjustment. These adjustments are so
natural that they occur without conscious effort by the individual.
The third assumption about a behavioral system is that a behavioral system, which both requires and results in some degree of regularity
and constancy in behavior, is essential to man; that is to say, it is functionally significant in that it serves a useful purpose both in social
life and for the individual. (Johnson, 1980)
The system balance reflects adjustments and adaptations that are successful in some way and to some degree. (Johnson, 1980)
Johnson acknowledges that the achievement of this balance may and will vary from individual to individual. At times this balance may
not be exhibited as behaviors that are acceptable or meet societys norms. What may be adaptive for the individual in coping with
impinging forces may be disruptive as a whole.
Assumptions on the Structure and Function of Subsystems (Johnson, 1980)
From the form the behavior takes and the consequences it achieves can be inferred what drive has been stimulated or what goal is being
The ultimate goal for each subsystem is expected to be the same for all individuals. However, the methods of achieving the goal may
vary depending on the culture or other individual variations.
Each individual has a predisposition to act, with reference to the goal, in certain ways rather than in any other ways.
Each subsystem has available repertoire of choices or scope of action alternatives from which choices can be made.
Larger behavioral repertoires are available to more adaptable individuals. As life experiences occur, individuals add to the number of
alternative action available to them. At some point, however, the acquisition of new alternatives of behavior decreases as the individual
becomes comfortable with the available repertoire.
Behavioral subsystems produce observable outcomes that is, the individuals behavior.
The observable behaviors allow an outsider in this case the nurse to note the actions the individual is taking to reach a goal related to
a specified subsystem. The nurse can then evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of these behaviors in assisting the individual in
reaching one of these goals.

She provided a frame of reference for nurses concerned with specific client behaviors.
Johnsons behavioral model can be generalized across the lifespan and across cultures.
Johnsons does not clearly interrelate her concepts of subsystems.
Lack of clear definitions for the interrelationships among and between the subsystems makes it difficult to view the entire behavioral
system as an entity.
The lack of clear interrelationships among the concepts creates difficulty in following the logic of Johnsons work.

Johnsons behavioral model is clearly an Individual-oriented framework. Its extent to consider families, groups and communities was not

In her model, the focus is with what the behavior the person is presenting making the concept more attuned with the psychological aspect
of care in.
Categorizing different behaviors in seven subsystems divided the focus of nursing interventions. In turn quality of care given by the
nurse may be lessened because of fractionalized care which does not support seeing the individual as a whole adaptive system.
A lack of an authenticated schematic diagram by Johnson which is seen necessary was not presented. Johnson has developed multiple
concepts thus a diagram showing each and every concepts relationship might be helpful.