Application of Betty Neuman's System Model

Nursing theories

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Application of Betty Neuman's System Model

Nursing Process

  • Assessment
  • Nursing diagnosis
  • Outcome identification and planning
  • Implementation
  • Evaluation



  • 1. Name- Mr. AM

  • 2. Age- 66 years

  • 3. Sex-Male

  • 4. Marital status-married

  • 5. Referral source- Referred from ------- Medical College, -------


  • (Information collected from the patient and his wife)

  • Major stress area, or areas of health concern

  • Patient was suffering from severe abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, yellowish discolorations of eye, palm, and urine, reduced appetite and gross weight loss(8kg with in 4 months)

  • Patient is been diagnosed to have Periampullary carcinoma one week back.

  • Patient underwent operative procedure i.e. WHIPPLE’S PROCEDURE- Pancreato duodenectomy on 27/3/08.

  • Psychologically disturbed about his disease condition- anticipating it as a life threatening condition. Patient is in depressive mood and does not interacting.

  • Patient is disturbed by the thoughts that he became a burden to his children with so many serious illnesses which made them to stay with him at hospital.

  • Patient has pitting type of edema over the ankle region, and it is more during the evening and will not be relieved by elevation of the affected extremities.

  • He had developed BPH few months back (2008 January) and underwent surgery TURP on January 17. Still he has mild difficulty in initiating the stream of urine.

  • Patient is a known case of Diabetes since last 28 years and for the last 4 years he is on Inj. H.Insulin (4U-0-0). It is adding up his distress regarding his health.

Life style patterns

  • patient is a retired school teacher

  • cares for wife and other family members

  • living with his son and his family

  • active in church

  • participates in community group meeting i.e. local politics

  • has a supportive spouse and family

  • taking mixed diet

  • no habits of smoking or drinking

  • spends leisure time by reading news paper, watching TV, spending time with family members and relatives

Have you experienced a similar problem?

  • The fatigue is similar to that of previous hospitalization (after the surgery of the BPH)

  • Severity of pain was some what similar in the previous time of surgery i.e. TURP.

  • Was psychologically disturbed during the previous surgery i.e. TURP.

  • What helped then- family members psychological support helped him to over come the crisis situation

Anticipation of the future

  • Concerns about the healthy and speedy recovery.

  • Anticipation of changes in the lifestyle and food habits

  • Anticipating about the demands of modified life style

  • Anticipating the needs of future follow up

What doing to help himself?

  • Talking to his friends and relatives

  • Reading the religious materials i.e. reading the Bible

  • Instillation of positive thoughts i.e. planning about the activities to be resume after discharge, spending time with grand children, going to the church, return back to the social interactions etc

  • Avoiding the negative thoughts i.e. diverts the attentions from the pain or difficulties, try to eliminate the disturbing thoughts about the disease and surgery etc

  • Trying to accept the reality etc..

What is expected of others?

  • Family members visiting the patient and spending some time with him will help to a great extent to relieve his tension.

  • Convey a warm and accepting behaviour towards him.

  • Family members will help him to meet his own personal needs as much as possible.

  • Involve the patient also in taking decisions about his own care, treatment, follow up etc


Major stress areas

  • Persistent fatigue

  • Massive weight loss i.e.( 8 kg of body weight with in 4 months)

  • History of BPH and its surgery

  • Persistence of urinary symptoms (difficulty in initiating the stream of urine) and edema of the lower extremities

  • Persistent disease- chronic hypertensive since last 28 years

  • Depressive ideations and negative thoughts

  • Present circumstances differing from the usual pattern of living

  • Hospitalization

  • acute pain ( before the surgery patient had pain because of the underlying pathology and after the surgery pain is present at the surgical site)

  • nausea and vomiting which was present before the surgery and is still persisting after the surgery also

  • anticipatory anxiety concerns the recovery and prognosis of the disease

  • negative thoughts that he has become a burden to his children

  • Anticipatory anxiety concerning the restrictions after the surgery and the life style modifications which are to be followed.

Clients past experience with the similar situations

  • Patient verbalized that the severity of pain, nausea, fatigue etc was similar to that of patient’s previous surgery. Counter checked with the family members that what they observed.

  • Psychologically disturbed previously also before the surgery. (collected from the patient and counter checked with the relatives)

  • Client perceived that the present disease condition is much more severe than the previous condition. He thinks it is a serious form of cancer and the recovery is very poor. So patient is psychologically depressed.

Future anticipations

  • Client is capable of handling the situation- will need support and encouragement to do so.

  • He has the plans to go back home and to resume the activities which he was doing prior to the hospitalization.

  • He also planned in his mind about the future follow up ie continuation of chemotherapy

What client can do to help himself?

  • Patient is using his own coping strategies to adjust to the situations.

  • He is spending time to read religious books and also spends time in talking with others

  • He is trying to clarify his own doubts in an attempt to eliminate doubts and to instill hope.

  • He sets his major goal i.e. a healthy and speedy recovery.

  • Client's expectations of family, friends and caregivers

  • he sees the health care providers as a source pf information.

  • He tries to consider them as a significant members who can help to over come the stress

  • He seeks both psychological and physical support from the care givers, friends and family members

  • He sees the family members as helping hands and feels relaxed when they are with him.

Evaluation/ summary of impressions-

  • There is no apparent discrepancies identified between patients perception and the care givers perceptions.


1. Physical examination and investigations

  • Height- 162 cm

  • Weight – 42 kg

  • TPR- 37o C, 74 b/m, 14 breaths per min

  • BP- 130/78 mm of Hg

  • Eye- vision is normal, on examination the appearance of eye is normal. Conjunctiva is pale in appearance. Pupils reacting to the light.

  • Ear- appearance of ears normal. No wax deposition. Pinna is normal in appearance and hearing ability is also normal.

  • Respiratory system- respiratory rate is normal, no abnormal sounds on auscultation. Respiratory rate is 16 breaths per min.

  • Cardiovascular system- heart rate is 76 per min. on auscultation no abnormalities detected. Edema is present over the left ankle which is non pitting in nature.

  • GIT- patient has the complaints of reduced appetite, nausea; vomiting etc. food intake is very less. Mouth- on examination is normal. Bowel sounds are reduced. Abdomen could not be palpated because of the presence of the surgical incision. Bowel habits are not regular after the hospitalization

  • Extremities- range of motion of the extremities are normal. Edema is present over the left ankle which is non pitting in nature. Because of weakness and fatigue he is not able to walk with out support

  • Integumentary system- extremities are mild yellowish in color. No cyanosis. Capillary refill is normal.

  • Genitor urinary system- patient has difficulty in initiating the urine stream. No complaints of painful micturation or difficulty in passing urine.

  • Self acre activities- perform some of his activities, for getting up from the bed he needs some other person’s support. To walk also he needs a support. He do his personal care activities with the support from the others

  • Immunizations- it is been told that he has taken the immunizations at the specific periods itself and he also had taken hepatitis immunization around 8 years back

  • Sleep –. He told that sleep is reduced because of the pain and other difficulties. Sleep is reduced after the hospitalization because of the noisy environment.

  • Diet and nutrition- patient is taking mixed diet, but the food intake is less when compared to previous food intake because of the nausea and vomiting. Usually he takes food three times a day.

  • Habits- patient does not have the habit of drinking or smoking.

  • Other complaints- patient has the complaints of pain fatigue, loss of appetite, dizziness, difficulty in urination, etc...

2. Psycho- socio cultural

  • Anxious about his condition

  • Depressive mood

  • Patient is a retired teacher and he is Christian by religion.

  • Studied up to BA

  • Married and has 4 children(2sons and 2 daughters)

  • Congenial home environment and good relationship with wife and children

  • Is active in the social activities at his native place and also actively involves in the religious activities too.

  • Good and congenial relationship with the neighbors

  • Has some good and close friend at his place and he actively interact with them. They also very supportive to him

  • Good social support system is present from the family as well as from the neighborhood

3. Developmental factors

  • Patient confidently says that he had been worked for 32 years as a teacher and he was a very good teacher for students and was a good coworker for the friends.

  • He told that he could manage the official and house hold activities very well

  • He was very active after the retirement and once he go back also he will resume the activities 

4. Spiritual belief system

  • Patient is Christian by religion

  • He believes in got and used to go to church and also an active member in the religious activities.

  • He has a personal Bible and he used to read it min of 2 times a day and also whenever he is worried or tensed he used to pray or read Bible.

  • He has a good social support system present which helps him to keep his mind active.


  • has supportive family and friends

  • good social interaction with others

  • good social support system is present

  • active in the agricultural works at home after the retirement

  • active in the religious activities.

  • Good interpersonal relationship with wife and the children

  • Good social adjustment present


  • All the health care facilities are present at his place

  • All communication facilities, travel and transport facilities etc are present at his own place.

  • His house at a village which is not much far from the city and the facilities are available at the place.

  • Financially they are stable and are able to meet the treatment expenses.


  • Physiological- thin body built pallor of extremities, yellowish discoloration of the mucus membrane and sclera of eye. Nausea, vomiting, reduced appetite, reduced urinary out put. Diagnosed to have periampullary carcinoma.

  • Psycho socio cultural factors- patient is anxious abut his condition. Depressive mood. Not interacting much with others. Good support system is present.

  • Developmental –no developmental abnormalities. Appropriate to the age.

  • Spiritual- patient’s belief system has a positive contribution to his recovery and adjustment.


  • Pain abdomen since 4 days

  • Discoloration of urine

  • Complaints of vomiting

  • Fatigue

  • Reduced appetite

  • on and off fever

  • Yellowish discoloration of eye, palms and nails

  • Complaints of weight loss

  • Edema over the left leg




HCT (40-50%)


WBC (4000-11000 cells/cumm)


Neutrophil (40-75%)


Lymphocyte (25-45%)


Monocyte (2-10%)


Eosinophil (0-10%)


Basophil (0-2%)


Platelet (150000-400000 cells/cumm)


ESR (0-10mm/hr)


RBS (60-150 mg/dl)


Pus C/S



USG shows mild diffuse cell growth at the Ampulla of Vater which suggests peri ampullary carcinoma of Grade I with out metastasis and gross spread.

Urea (8-35mg/dl)


Creatinine (0.6-1.6 mg/dl)


Sodium (130-143 mEq/L)


Potassium (3.5-5 mEq/L)


PT (patient)(11.4-15.6 sec)


APTT- patient (24- 32.4 sec)


Blood group








Urine Protein (negative)


Urine WBC (0-5 cells/hpf)


RBC (nil )


Initial Treatment
Post operative period (immediate post op)

Patient got admitted to ---- Medical college for 3 days and the symptoms not relieved. So they asked for discharge and came to ---this hospital. There he was treated with:

  • Inj Tramazac IV SOS
  • IV fluids – DNS

Treatment at this hospital...

Pre operative period
  • Tab Clovipas 75 mg 0-1-0
  • Tab Monotrate 1-0-1
  • Tab Metalor XL 1-0-0
  • Inj H Insulin S/C 6-0-6U
  • Inj Tramazac 50 mg IV Q8H
  • Inj Emset 4 mg Q8H
  • Tab Pantodac 40 mg 1-0-0
  • Cap beneficiale 0-1-0
  • Syp Aristozyme 1-1-1
  •  K bind I sachet TID

Surgical management

  • Patient underwent Whipple’s procedure (pancreato duodenectomy)
  • Inj Pethedine 1mg SOS
  • Inj Phenargan SOS
  • Inj Pantodac 40 mg IV OD
  • Inj Clexane 0.3 ml S/C OD
  • Inj Vorth P 40 mg IM  Q12H
  • Inj calcium Gluconate 10 ml over 10 min
  • IV fluids – DNS

Late post op period after 3 days of surgery)

  • Inj H Insulin S/C 6-0-6U
  • Tab Pantodac 40 mg 1-0-0
  • Cap beneficiale 0-1-0
  • Tab Clovipas 75 mg 0-1-0
  • Tab Monotrate 1-0-1
  • Tab Metalor XL 1-0-0
Other instructions

  •  Incentive spirometry
  •   Steam inhalation
  •  Eearly ambulation
  •  Diabetic diet



  • Acute pain related to the presence of surgical wound on abdomen secondary to periampullary carcinoma

Desired Outcome/goal : Patient will get relief from pain as evidenced by a reduction in the pain scale score and verbalization.

Nursing Actions

Primary Prevention
secondary Prevention
Tertiary Prevention
  • Assess severity of pain by using a pain scale

  • Check the surgical site for any signs of infection or complications

  • Support the areas with extra pillow to allow the normal alignment and to prevent strain

  • Handle the area gently. Avoid unnecessary handling as this will affect the healing process

  • lean the area around the incision and do surgical dressing at the site of incision to prevent any form of infections

  • Provide non-pharmacological measures for pain relief such as diversional activity which diverts the patients mind.

  • Administer the pain medications as per the prescription by the pain clinics to relieve the severity of pain.

  • Keep the patients body clean in order to avoid infection

  • Teach the patient about the relaxation techniques and make him to do it

  • Encourage the patient to divert his mind from pain and to engage in pleasurable activities like taking with others

  • Do not allow the patient to do strenuous activities. And explain to the patient why those activities are contraindicated.

  • Involve the patient in making decisions about his own care and provide a positive psychological support

  • Provide the primary preventive care when ever necessary.

  • educate the client about the importance of cleanliness and encourage him to maintain good personal hygiene.

  • Involve the family members in the care of patient

  • Encourage relatives to be with the client in order provide a psychological well being to patient .

  • Educate the family members about the pain management measures.

  • Provide the primary and secondary preventive measures to the client whenever necessary.

Evaluation – patient verbalized that the pain got reduced and the pain scale score also was zero. His facial expression also reveals that he got relief from pain.


Activity intolerance related to fatigue secondary to pain at the surgery site, and dietary restrictions

Outcome/ goals: Client will develop appropriate levels of activity free from excess fatigue, as evidenced by normal vital signs & verbalized understanding of the benefits of gradual increase in activity & exercise.

Nursing actions
Primary prevention Secondary prevention Tertiary prevention
  • Adequately oxygenate the client

  • Instruct the client to avoid the activities which causes extreme fatigue

  • Provide the necessary articles near the patients bed side.

  • Assist the patient in early ambulation

  • Monitor client’s response to the activities in order to reduce discomforts.

  • Provide nutritious diet to the client.

  • Avoid psychological distress to the client. Tell the family members to be with him.

  • Schedule rest periods because it helps to alleviate fatigue

  • Instruct the client to avoid the activities which causes extreme fatigue.

  • Advice the client to perform exercises to strengthen the extremities& promote activities

  • Tell the client to avoid the activities such as straining at stool etc

  • Teach the client about the importance of early ambulation and assist the patient in early ambulation

  • Teach the mobility exercises appropriate for the patient to improve the circulation

  • Encourage the client to do the mobility exercises

  • Tell the family members to provide nutritious diet in a frequent intervals

  • Teach the patient and the family about  the importance of psychological well being in recovery.

  • Provide the primary and secondary level care if necessary.

Evaluation patient verbalized that his activity level improved. He is able to do some of his activities with assistance. Fatigue relieved and patient looks much more active and interactive.


Impaired physical mobility related to presence of dressing, pain at the site of surgical incision

Outcomes/goals: Patient will have improved physical mobility as evidenced by walking with minimum support and doing the activities in limit.

Nursing actions
Primary prevention Secondary prevention Tertiary prevention
  • Provide active and passive exercises to all the extremities to improve the muscle tone and strength.
  • Make the patient to perform the breathing exercises which will strengthen the respiratory muscle.

  • Massage the upper and lower extremities which help to improve the circulation.

  • Provide articles near to the patient and encourage doing activities within limits which promote a feeling of well being.

  • Provide positive reinforcement for even a small improvement to increase the frequency of the desired activity.

  • Teach the mobility exercises appropriate for the patient to improve the circulation and to prevent contractures

  • Mobilize the patient and encourage him to do so whenever possible

  • Motivate the client to involve in his own care activities

  • Provide primary preventive measures whenever necessary

  • Educate and reeducate the client and family about the patients care and recovery

  • Support the patient, and family towards the attainment of the goals

  • Coordinate the care activities with the family members and other disciplines like physiotherapy.

  • Teach the importance of psychological well being which influence indirectly the physical recovery

  • Provide primary preventive measures whenever necessary


The Neuman’s system model when applied in nursing practice helped in identifying the interpersonal, intrapersonal and extra personal stressors  of Mr. AM from various aspects. This was helpful to provide care in a comprehensive manner. The application of this theory revealed how well the primary, secondary and tertiary prevention interventions could be used for solving the problems in the client.


  1.  Alligood M R, Tomey A M. Nursing Theory: Utilization &Application .3rd ed. Missouri: Elsevier Mosby Publications; 2002.
  2. Tomey AM, Alligood. MR. Nursing theorists and their work. (5th ed.).  Mosby,  Philadelphia, 2002
  3.  George JB .Nursing Theories: The Base for Professional Nursing Practice,5th ed. New Jersey :Prentice Hall;2002.
This page was last updated on: 26/11/2020