Roy Adaptation Model

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Nursing Theorist: Roy Adaptation Model
Jeanette Ratliff, RN
Chamberlain College of Nursing
Course Number:
Summer 2011

Nursing Theorist: Roy Adaptation Model
Sister Callista Roy was not only a pioneer in the field of nursing, but also a leader. Her dedication to the health community is inarguable. As serving numerous roles as leader, her thoughts and visions touched many. One example of her mark in nursing is the Roy Adaptation Model. It is in this model that health is defined as a state of adaptation that occurs as a result of successfully adapting to stressors. It is a positive response to an environmental change as well as coping successfully with stressors and environmental changes. Roy defines the environment in terms of individual’s external surroundings and influences that affect a person’s development. Adaptation can be applied to terms of health or illness. Because both health and illness are not concrete terms, a continuum of the two serve as an example of Roy’s model and it’s adaptability to abstract terms. Her model serves as a picture of reality. Perhaps it is less important that our society sees change and self-concept as critical, and thus create a reality that makes the Roy Adaptation Model an effective conceptual model for nurses (Andrews and Roy, 1991). Major Concepts of the Theory

Within the Roy Adaptation Model (RAM), there are four major concepts. The first concept places emphasis on humans as an adaptive system. Roy focuses on man as being an adaptive system which can function as an individual or within a group setting. By using a holistic approach to conceptualize the human system, George (2002) reiterates how Roy places emphasis on holism, and its overall core to her model. Roy describes man as a feedback system that has inputs and outputs, as well as controls and feedback. It is in this component of the model that Roy defines the four modes of the human adaptive response as physiological, self-concept, role function, and interdependence mode. The second major concept of the Ram is the environment. Roy’s model focuses on the effects that the environment has on human adaptation. According to Roy, stimuli from both within and around the system are represented by the environment. The third concept of RAM is health. George, (2002) notes that health according to Roy’s model is measured by man’s adaptability to change. Health is not simply the absence of disease, but a perspective by which one is experiencing, such as an emotional or physical state. The fourth and final concept of RAM is the goal of nursing. “Roy defines the goal of nursing as the promotion of adaptive responses in relation to the four adaptive modes: physiological-physical, self-concept-group identity, role function, and interdependency” (George, 2002, p308). Adaptive responses support the human adaptive system through actions which affect health in a positive manner. Goals of nursing are to aid in reducing ineffective responses by supporting adaptive responses. The use of Roy’s model by nurses is to serve as a guide to help man and insure positive adaptation (George, 2002). Interrelationships of Concepts

According to Andrews & Roy (1991), the RAM was inspired by pediatrics and bases on theorists Helson and Von Bertalanffy’s views. Helson stated adaptation as a process of responding positively to environmental changes and described three types of stimuli: focal, contextual, and residual. The adaptation model is made up of four main concepts; person, health, environment, and nursing which involves a six step nursing process to carry out (Andrew & Roy, 1991).

Roy believes that stressors are considered stimuli. These stimuli can be divided into classes which include focal, contextual, and residual. Focal stimuli are the stimulus which directly confronts a person. Contextual stimuli are noted as all other stimuli present with either a positive or negative impact on the situation. Residual...
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