Betty Neuman’s systems model is a theory developed by Dr. Betty Neuman in 1972 as “A Model for Teaching Total Person Approach to Patient Problem.” Than it was redefined in 1974 and published in the first edition of “Conceptual Models for Nursing Practices and the second edition in 1980. It is a theory based on individual’s relationship to stress, the reaction towards it and the reconstitution factors that are changeable in nature. She developed this theory based on her experience and education. The core of the model consists of some basic survival factors including normal temperature range, response pattern, genetic structure, ego structure and organ strength or weakness.
Furthermore, there are there core lines, flexible line of defense, normal line of defense and line of resistance. The flexible line of defense keeps the system free from stressors and is dependent on the amount of sleep, nutritional status, as well as the quality and quantity of stress. The normal line of defense represents patient’s usual wellness level and its state of equilibrium. The line of resistance protects the basic structure and become active when environmental stressors invade the normal line of defense. “Neuman’s System theory includes the following concepts; a holistic client, an open system, and stressors” (Blanken 2014).
The basic assumption of Betty model is that every individual client’s system is unique. There are several universal, known and unknown stressor exists with different potentials of impacting the normal line of defense. Human beings are composite of the interrelationship of the different variables such as psychology, cultural, biological, developmental and spiritual those are presented all the time. There are three levels of preventions primer prevention, secondary prevention and tertiary prevention. The role of primary prevention is to strengthen the flexible line of defense and to protect the normal line. The secondary prevention is to increase resistance factors, strengthen internal lines of resistance and reducing the reaction. The tertiary prevention is to stabilize, readapt and to protect return or reconstitution to wellness.
The Betty Neuman model prove a well-defined and proper way for nurses that how to deal with clients, how to treat them and the prevention strategy. The model is used across the world by practitioners to assist the clients. It is observed that the methodology is a massively successful with regularly reviewed and revised until now. The significant strength of the model is its flexibility which can be used in all areas of nursing. The model is used in education, administration and practice in the nursing field. Although her study was based on individual client but it is equally applicable to a family, a community, a group or any other collective group. “She envisioned nursing as providing care based on understanding of the system through the recognition of potential or real stressors affecting the stability of the client-client system (C-CS)” (Peterson 2016). Through these systems provided by Neuman the nurse can intelligently assesses and respond to real and potential stressors determined in collaboration with the client. It is relatively simple and can readily accept definitions of its components.
The main only weakness of Neuman’s model is that it needs further clarification of some of terms it has been used such as the terms interpersonal and extrapersonal stressors. These are some words need to be differentiated. This is the main criticism received by Neuman’s model that it has lack of defining these terms. In the model it seems as interpersonal stressors is a subcategory or special case of extrapersonal stressors. But mostly the system is wildly appreciated and used by nurses around the world.
Blanken-Little, D. (2014). Safety and Efficacy Study of Intra-Operative Radiation Therapy Using Xoft at the Time of Breast Conservation Surgery for Early Stage Breast Cancer.
George, J. B. (2011). Nursing Theories: The Base for Professional Nursing Practice, 6/e. Pearson Education India..
Peterson, K. K. (2016). Mindfulness Education for Stress Reduction in Nursing Students (Doctoral dissertation, Gardner-Webb University).