Neuman’s System Model: Patient Management


  • Unique client systems with its characteristics, structure
  • Stressors as disturbing factors of health
  • Normal/flexible line of defense (LOD)
  • Dynamic understanding of patient’s health
  • Internal resistance factors help improve health
  • Three types of prevention: primary, secondary, tertiary

Each person’s health is viewed as a dynamic mixture of interdependent factors or stressors that are either internal or external (Im, & Ju Chang, 2012). The structure of an organism can be represented though basic parameters such as temperature range, genetic composition, and other. LODs represent a system’s outer and inner defense. Internal resistance factors stabilize the patient’s health and return them to a state of wellbeing. Primary prevention helps adapt and develop resistance upon the first light encounter of the system with a stressor. Secondary prevention occurs when stressor is inside the system. It is aimed at removing the stressor without damaging the core. Tertiary prevention focuses on recuperation.

Better Patient Management

  • Developed by a professional nurse
  • Allows classification
  • Simplicity of patient’s condition evaluation
  • Provides an understanding of goals in the field
  • Better outcomes management
  • Response analysis

Neuman as a professional community nurse developed a model that allows viewing a specific patient’s health from different angles. Her model allows to develop and update classification of stressors, defense mechanisms, responses and other items of the system. The model is easy to utilize during evaluation of a person’s condition (Ahmadi & Sadeghi, 2017). The theory explains the goals of nursing though defining the key terms and developing a patient-centered approach based on evaluation and monitoring. It allows planning outcomes using three types of prevention and analyzing the response of the system through changes in basic parameters.


  • Application in a variety of spheres
  • Variety of conditions and diseases
  • Can be used in multiple settings
  • Applicable to different patient groups
  • Unites a variety of aims and goals
  • Allows flexibility in planning interventions

Neuman’s model is extremely versatile in terms of spheres, settings, and patients to which it can be applied. It works perfectly in neurology, dermatology, respirology, and other spheres due to universality of basic patterns of diseases onset. It can be used either in outpatient or clinical settings where monitoring and treatment is continuous. According to Khatiban, Oshvandi, Borzou, and Moayed (2016), the theory is also applicable in critical care setting and shows outstanding results in terms of prevention strategies and treatment outcomes. Age and sex groups are irrelevant as the model is applicable to almost every type of patient. Judging from the aims and desired outcomes, the theory allows to plan interventions accordingly using three types of prevention.

Assessment, Planning, Intervention, and Evaluation from Different Angles

  • Stressors as viewed from a patient’s perspective
  • Stressors as perceived by a medical specialist
  • Contemplation and analysis of experience
  • Comprehensive factor analysis
  • Interventions based on defined stressors, internal/external factors
  • Various levels of nursing actions evaluation

One of the main advantages of Neuman’s nursing model is that considers both patients’ perceived evaluation of their health condition, stressors and defense system functioning and nurses’ view of the problem. If combined, the two perspectives give a more well-round and comprehensive understanding of health problems. Similar stressful occurrences identified in nursing practice or client’s family are also utilized. Based on the broad view of the health issue and closely scrutinized details, the model allows planning and implementing nursing actions that are evaluated from patient’s and nurse’s perspective.


Ahmadi, Z., & Sadeghi, T. (2017). Application of the Betty Neuman systems model in the nursing care of patients/clients with multiple sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis Journal – Experimental, Translational and Clinical, 3(3), 1-8.

Im, E. O., & Ju Chang, S. (2012). Current trends in nursing theories. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 44(2), 156-164.

Khatiban, M., Oshvandi, K., Borzou, S., & Moayed, M. (2016). Outcomes of applying Neuman system theory in intensive care units: A systematic review. Journal of Critical Care Nursing, 7(2), 1-16.

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