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Roy’s Adaptation Model of Nursing

Different methodologies used in medicine allow impacting on patients differently and help them to restore both physical and mental health. Among the variety of nursing practices and approaches used to care for people, one of the most well-known is considered to be the Roy adaptation model. It is a theoretical technique aimed at analyzing patients’ behavior from the point of view of certain systems inherent in each individual. Using this model allows helping those in need to cope with their experiences and restore broken inner harmony. This theory can be applied for different purposes, and one of the places where it can be observed in nursing homes where various patients with physiological and mental abnormalities are treated.

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Nursing Model Description

The provisions of the Roy adaptation model are widely used in nursing practice. During a recent visit to one of the nursing homes, it was noted that the nursing staff of the center used this technique in practice. In particular, medical specialists provided care to patients based on the main provisions of the Roy program and focused on helping to restore mental balance.

According to this theory, the individual has a set of interrelated and influencing behavior systems – biological, psychological, and social (Finkelman, 2017). For all these systems, there is a state of relative equilibrium to which the human aspires (Finkelman, 2017). It is the environment where people can adequately cope with their experiences. For each person, this indicator is unique. Following the peculiarity of this model, there is a certain level of adaptation, and all the stressors falling into this environment meet a more favorable reaction than those that fall outside its limits.

The junior medical staff under the supervision of the senior nurse conducted interviews with patients, specified their experiences and concerns, and helped to cope with all the inconveniences caused by being in the clinic. The peculiarities of this approach have provoked interest in whether the model is effective and whether its implementation helps patients to recover. In this regard, there is a desire to consider this methodology in more detail and to find some evidence in favor of its effectiveness, and mention it in the academic literature.

Resources to Support the Model

To analyze the effectiveness of using the adaptation model in practice, it is possible to consider how this methodology is described in different authors’ works. One of the articles for review can be the paper “The Roy Adaptation Model: A Theoretical Framework for Nurses Providing Care to Individuals with Anorexia Nervosa” written by Jennings (2017). The author mentions anorexia as one of the psychiatric disorders and argues that the nursing theory under consideration can be effective for helping patients with such ailment (Jennings, 2017).

The source of problems, in this case, is the impossibility of patients with the described syndrome to cope with the illness on their own and find an opportunity for adaptation. Jennings (2017) mentions such a term as I-concept, which is necessary for any person to understand the causes of a particular behavior and body image and correlate it with desired ones. The nursing intervention relates to “how weight restoration does not occur in isolation but rather reflects an adaptive process within external and internal environments, and has the potential for more holistic care” (p. 370). Thus, the application of the model is justified.

Another article that relates to the theory under consideration is the paper “The Effect of Care Plan Application Based on Roy Adaptation Model on the Self-Efficacy in Elderly People in Urmia Nursing Homes” by Maghsoudi et al. (2015). The authors focus on caring for the elderly and note that nursing based on the use of this model enables aged patients to cope with their daily needs (Maghsoudi et al., 2015). A target group was the object of the study, and the health indicators of its participants were constantly monitored. According to Maghsoudi et al. (2015), “implementing the care program that was based on Roy’s adaptation model had a positive effect on enhancing the self-efficacy of the elderly” (p. 793). Therefore, the success of this practice is beyond doubt.

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Resources Describing Different Approaches

In addition to the above sources, there are also other academic works where other nursing theories are mentioned. For example, the article “Compare and Contrast of Grand Theories: Orem’s Self-Care Deficit Theory and Roy’s Adaptation Model” by Shah, Abdullah, and Khan (2015) describes two models and gives differences between them. The authors argue that the practice proposed by Orem is aimed at the fact that any patient can independently take care of himself or herself, and the task of the nursing staff is to coordinate all the actions correctly and monitor the implementation of certain actions (Shah et al., 2015). Unlike Roy the adaptation model, Orem’s theory draws a line between medical workers and those who need care.

Another article that focuses not on the specific Roy’s model but different nursing approaches is called “Thoughts about Nursing Conceptual Models and the “Medical Model” (Fawcett, 2017). The author pays attention to the fact that there is a variety of theories and offers different ones for solving specific problems. For instance, the aim of Levine’s conservation model is the “promotion of wholeness for all people, well or sick” (Fawcett, 2017, p. 78). Moreover, according to this approach, medical workers do not make a difference among individuals and care for all without grouping and categorizing patients. This model differs significantly from Roy’s one and requires other actions from nurses.

Implementation and Recommendations

The implementation of the model under consideration in a particular nursing home takes place in stages. To begin with, the staff monitors the behavior of patients and helps them to adapt to new conditions of life. Further, step-by-step work is underway, and nurses follow the provisions of Roy’s model, determining the physical and psychological deviations of those who need care. Then, through joint efforts, patients gradually restore their inner harmony and cease to experience anxiety and discomfort caused by a discrepancy between the worldview and the environment.

As a possible alternative to this approach, Johnson’s behavioral model can also be used as a technique for an effective intervention to care for people with internal imbalances. According to Fawcett (2017), this theory may help “to restore, maintain, or attain behavioral system balance and dynamic stability at the highest possible level for the individual” (p. 78). Therefore, its use in the described nursing home can also be effective.


Roy’s adaptation model can be used to address different patient outcomes, and its application in the nursing home for patients with various physical and mental disorders is effective. Junior medical staff successfully performs all the stages of work and helps people with a mental imbalance to restore their habitual and normal world perception. In the academic literature, there are examples of this model. Nevertheless, other methodologies allow solving similar problems and help patients to adjust their behavior.


Fawcett, J. (2017). Thoughts about nursing conceptual models and the “Medical Model.” Nursing Science Quarterly, 30(1), 77-80. Web.

Finkelman, A. (2017). Quality improvement: A guide for integration in nursing. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

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Jennings, K. M. (2017). The Roy adaptation model: A theoretical framework for nurses providing care to individuals with anorexia nervosa. Advances in Nursing Science, 40(4), 370-383. Web.

Maghsoudi, E., Pak, M. H. M., Zareei, F., Rashid, S. P., Sofiyani, A., & Shahidi, L. (2015). The effect of care plan application based on Roy adaptation model on the self-efficacy in elderly people in urmia nursing homes. Research Journal of Pharmaceutical, Biological and Chemical Sciences, 6(1), 793-799.

Shah, M., Abdullah, A., & Khan, H. (2015). Compare and contrast of grand theories: Orem’s self-care deficit theory and Roy’s adaptation model. International Journal of Nursing, 5(1), 39-42. Web.

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