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Betty Neuman's Systems Model: A Holistic Approach to Understanding Individuals in their Environmental Context

Lisa Fortsch*

Department of Medicine & Advanced Technology, School of Nursing, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA

*Corresponding Author:
Lisa Fortsch
Department of Medicine & Advanced Technology, School of Nursing
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA

Received: 03 July, 2023, Manuscript No. jnhs-23-111050; Editor Assigned: 05 July, 2023, Pre QC No. P-111050; Reviewed: 17 July, 2023, QC No. Q-111050; Revised: 24 July, 2023, Manuscript No. R-111050; Published: 31 July, 2023, DOI: 10.4172/JNHS.2023.9.4.87

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In the realm of nursing theory and practice, Betty Neuman's Systems Model stands as a beacon of innovation and holistic perspective. Developed in the 1970s, this conceptual framework offers a comprehensive approach to understanding individuals' health and well-being within the context of their environment. Neuman's model has played a significant role in shaping the way healthcare professionals assess, intervene and provide care, emphasizing the intricate interplay between the individual, their physiological state and the broader environmental factors that influence their health journey. At its core, Neuman's Systems Model asserts that individuals are dynamic beings existing within a complex web of interacting factors. It encompasses a holistic viewpoint that takes into account the physical, psychological, social and spiritual dimensions of human beings. Rather than isolating these aspects, the model acknowledges their interdependence and recognizes that disturbances in any one dimension can lead to imbalances in the whole system.


Betty neuman's system, Nursing theory, Healthcare


Central to the model is the concept of stress. Neuman defined stress as any stimulus that destabilizes the balance of the individual's system. Stressors can originate from various sources, ranging from internal physiological changes to external environmental factors. The model categorizes stressors into three primary groups: intrapersonal (within the person), interpersonal (between individuals) and extrapersonal (outside the individual). The response to stressors, which can be adaptive or maladaptive, leads to a continuous process of dynamic adjustment and adaptation [1].

Literature Review

The five core components

Betty Neuman's Systems Model consists of several core components that work together to provide a holistic understanding of individuals and their interaction with their environment. These components help healthcare professionals assess and intervene to promote the individual's overall well-being.

The client system: This refers to the individual, family, or community whose well-being is being assessed. The model emphasizes the client's response to stressors and their capacity to maintain stability. The central focus of Neuman's model is the client system, which can be an individual, a family, or even a community [2]. This component represents the person or group whose health and well-being are being considered. The client system is seen as a dynamic and constantly changing entity that interacts with its environment. Neuman emphasizes the client's response to stressors and the ability to maintain stability.

The environment: Neuman defined the environment as all factors, both internal and external, that influence the client system. This encompasses physical, psychological, social and spiritual elements. The environment is depicted as concentric circles surrounding the client system, emphasizing the dynamic interaction between the individual and their surroundings. The environment is a crucial element in Neuman's model, encompassing all factors that surround and influence the client system. This includes both internal and external factors that impact the individual's well-being [3]. The environment is depicted as concentric circles, with each circle representing a different level of influence. The dynamic interaction between the client and their environment plays a significant role in determining the individual's health status.

Health: According to Neuman, health is a continuum that represents the degree of wellness or illness experienced by the client system. It is influenced by the individual's ability to adapt to stressors effectively. Health is viewed as a continuum in Neuman's model, representing the individual's position on the wellness-illness spectrum. The goal is to move towards a higher level of wellness and away from illness. The model recognizes that health is not merely the absence of disease but encompasses physical, psychological, social and spiritual well-being.

Nursing: Nursing is seen as the intervention that helps clients maintain, regain, or achieve optimal wellness. Nurses assess the client's stressors, develop strategies to promote stability and facilitate the individual's ability to adapt to changing circumstances [4]. Nursing is an essential component of Neuman's model, representing the interventions and actions taken by healthcare professionals to promote and maintain the client's stability and well-being. Nurses assess the client's stressors, vulnerabilities and resources and then develop strategies to help the client adapt and achieve optimal health. The nursing component emphasizes preventive measures and interventions that aim to maintain stability and prevent stressors from causing disruptions in the client system.

Nursing goals: The ultimate goal of nursing within Neuman's model is to maintain stability, prevent potential disruptions and enhance the client's overall well-being [5]. This is achieved through nursing actions aimed at primary, secondary and tertiary prevention. Primary prevention focuses on preventing stressors from affecting the client system, secondary prevention involves early detection and intervention to minimize the impact of stressors and tertiary prevention aims to restore and rehabilitate the client system after the stressor has caused disruption.


Neuman's Systems Model has significantly impacted nursing practice and education. By promoting a holistic approach, the model encourages nurses to look beyond the immediate symptoms and explore the broader context in which an individual exists. This approach is particularly valuable in today's complex healthcare landscape, where patients often present with multifaceted challenges that extend beyond physical health. The model's emphasis on prevention aligns well with the evolving focus of healthcare systems on proactive measures [6]. By identifying potential stressors and vulnerabilities early on, nurses can intervene to prevent health crises and promote long-term wellness. Moreover, Neuman's Systems Model has inspired research and scholarship in the field of nursing theory. Its adaptability and applicability across various healthcare settings have led to its integration into curricula, guiding future nurses in providing comprehensive care to their patients.


Betty Neuman's Systems Model stands as a testament to the power of holistic thinking in healthcare. By recognizing the intricate interconnectedness of individuals and their environment, the model provides a framework that goes beyond treating symptoms to understanding the underlying causes of health imbalances. Its emphasis on prevention, adaptation and comprehensive care has left an indelible mark on the field of nursing, guiding practitioners towards a more holistic and patient-centered approach to healthcare. Overall, Betty Neuman's Systems Model provides a comprehensive framework that encourages healthcare professionals to consider the complex interplay between individuals and their environment. By understanding the client system's response to stressors and their ability to adapt, nurses can develop tailored interventions that address the physical, psychological, social and spiritual dimensions of health. This holistic approach has had a profound impact on nursing practice, education and research, promoting patient-centered care and emphasizing the importance of prevention and adaptation in achieving optimal well-being.



Conflict of Interest



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