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Betty Neuman's System Model Of Nursing and Metaparadigm

Betty Neuman's System Model Of Nursing and Metaparadigm



According Christensen, (199o) paradigm is a "way of looking at natural phenomena that encompasses a set of philosophical assumptions and that guides one's approach to inquiry" (pg. 463). Metaparadigm, on the other hand, "is a statement or group of statements identifying its relevant phenomena" (Fawcett, 1984, pg. 84). The metaparadigm has four central concepts to the discipline of nursing and they are interrelated although they have different meanings. They are Person, Environment, Health, and Nursing (caring). This paper discusses Betty Neuman's System Model Of Nursing and the theorist''s defenitions of Metaparadigm.

System Model- Betty Neuman

The Neuman's system model has two major components i.e. stress and reaction to stress. The client in the Neuman's system model is viewed as an open system in which repeated cycles of input, process, out put and feed back constitute a dynamic organizational pattern. The client may be an individual, a group, a family, a community or an aggregate. In the development towards growth and development open system continuously become more differentiated and elaborate or complex. As they become more complex, the internal conditions of regulation become more complex. Exchange with the environment are reciprocal, both the client and the environment may be affected either positively or negatively by the other (Neuman, B. 1995).

The system may adjust to the environment to itself. The ideal is to achieve optimal stability. As an open system the client, the client system has propensity to seek or maintain a balance among the various factors, both with in and out side the system, that seek to disrupt it. Neuman seeks these forces as stressors and views them as capable of having either positive or negative effects. Reaction to the stressors may be possible or actual with identifiable responses and symptom (Neuman, 1995).

Nursing Metaparadigm

Nursing is defined by American Association (1980) as "the diagnosis and treatment of human responses to actual or potential health problems" (Fawcett, 1984, pg. 84). Diagnosis, according to the nursing process is when the nurses identify the actual problems and find out how to treat them in order to prevent any potential problems. According to Christensen, (1990) nursing is establishing limits or boundaries in terms of the person providing care; person with health problems receiving care; the environment in which care is given and an end-state, well-being (Fawcett, 1984). This is related to what I mentioned before that the four concepts are interrelated; they cannot work on their own. The connections among the four metaparadigm concepts were clearly identified by Alligood and Tomey (2002) which states that "nursing studies the wholeness or health of humans, recognizing that humans are in continuous interaction with their environments" (Alligood M R, Tomey A M; 2002). This statement may be considered the major proposition of nursing's metaparadigm.


The person is a layered multidimensional being. Each layer consists of five person variables or subsystems:






The layers, usually represented by concentric circle, consist of the central core, lines of resistance, lines of normal defense, ...
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