University of South Alabama
An Analysis of Betty Neuman’s Systems Model
Neuman’s conceptualization of person, health, environment, and nursing provides the framework for the Neuman’s systems model. According to Neuman’s theory, the person can refer to an individual, family, or group. Clients are viewed through a holistic approach that studies the complete person and physical, psychological, and environmental factors that affect the person. Neuman views clients as dynamically organized systems, which have a core composed of basic survival needs shared among all humans (Ross & Bourbonnais, 1985). Client interaction is essential to defining the person and factors associated with treatment.
Health is viewed as a continuum that constantly changes and develops over time. Neuman emphasizes wellness and states that “optimal wellness or stability indicates that total system needs are being met.” Neuman continues, “A reduced state of wellness is the result of unmet systemic needs” (Alligood & Tomey, 2010, p. 314,316). Stability and wellness are manifested through healthy living and indulging in activities that are meaningful to the person. Illness will occur when wellness has not been reached, but wellness can be restored once the person engages in meaningful and healthy activity.
Alligood & Tomey (2010, p. 316) defines environment as “all the internal and external factors that surround and influence the client system.” Neuman believes stress factors are important to the concept of environment. Stress factors can alter the stability of the client which compromises wellness.