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Roy’s Adaptation Model in Practice

Info: 1069 words (4 pages) Nursing Assignment
Published: 19th Jun 2020

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Roy’s Adaptation Model in Practice

What is the Roy’s Adaptation Model?

The Roy adaptation Model was created by a woman named Sister Callista Roy from 1964-1966 while she was working on her master’s degree in nursing. The model is focused on four components: adaptation, person, environment, and health (Petiprin 2016). According to Roy (2009), “adaptation is the process where people either think or feel, either as individuals or as a group, use awareness and choices to create human and environmental integration.” Roy (2009) describes the person component as how one uses the mechanisms that they have adapted to or what they were born with to interact with the ever changing environment. Environment focuses on three stimuli’s: focal, contextual, and residual.

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Focal focuses on the internal or external stimuli that a person is dealing with in that moment of time. Contextual is any stimuli at the time that may give effect to the focal stimulus. Residual is a stimulus whose affects are not yet known. Roy (2009) describes health as, “inevitable dimension of person’s life; represented by a health-illness continuum.” Nursing’s focus is to help adjust to the four adaptive modes.

How has Roy’s Method been used in Practice?

When it comes to the nursing process, most nurses are taught the same thing: Assessment, Diagnosis, Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation (Fenske et al. 2020). However with Roy’s model you are taught: Assessment of Behavior, Assessment of Stimuli, Nursing Diagnosis, Goal Setting, Intervention, and Evaluation (Phillips & Harris 2017). When assessing ones behavior, the nurse will need to consider the type of responses to each adaptive mode by either one person or a group of people, i.e. how they react to what is going on within or around them. The assessment of stimuli tries to figure out what kinds of stimuli, focal, contextual, or residual, is affecting the current behavior. The nursing diagnosis, like that within the common nursing process, takes the information learned from the assessment of one’s behavior and stimuli and forms a thorough diagnosis in which to treat. Goal setting is a clearly defined statement of behavioral information that will promote adaptation. As Roy (2009) states, “a goal statement should designate not only the behavior to be observed but the way the behavior will change (as observed, measured, or subjectively reported) and the time frame in which the goal is attained.” Nursing intervention is when the nurse decides how to best help the patient to attain the previous goals set forth for them. Evaluation is when the nurse determines how well the interventions helped the patient in relation to their behavior.

Has the Roy Model Been Effective?

Many articles discuss the how effective the Roy model has been on issues such as anorexia nervosa, cancer, pediatrics and the one that will be discussed, veterans with lower extremity amputation. A trial was conducted in Iran at a veteran’s orthotics and prosthetics clinic on 60 veterans. The 60 participants were split into a control group and a group that would be using Roy’s adaptation model. A questionnaire was distributed to each patient to determine their coping strategies. The pre-intervention scores for both groups were similar. However, after putting in the use of Roy’s model the post-intervention scores between the two groups showed a significant difference. The final findings from the trial were that those who implemented Roy’s method improved the majority of coping strategies for the veterans. It was recommended that Roy’s adaptation model be implemented with anymore coping strategies for veterans.

How Can You Implement Key Aspects of the Model in Your Own Practice?

 I feel that I can help implement the Roy’s model into my own approach by continuing to familiarize myself with it even after the class has ended. With this being such a short class and having to cram everything into eight weeks, I feel as though I am not completely grasping the concept quite yet. From the studies I have read and the research I have done, the authors have all found it incredibly useful to nurses and better outcomes for the patients it was used on. I feel that even if I was to go into work tomorrow and use this method from the understanding I have of it, I would better help myself understand my patients and their families as a whole versus why they are actually in the hospital. I am myself guilty of just seeing how to treat my patient with what is ailing them in the moment instead of finding out why it is happening or how it happened or the behavior the patient is having.

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The one key component of the Roy adaptation model I would really like to try and focus on mastering first would be the assessment of behavior and better help my patients and family cope with it. I know we all can usually notice observable behavior when doing vital signs and head to toe assessments or from what the patient tells us but do we as nurses always take the cues from our patients or their families on their emotional behavior and how it is affecting them while coping with the situation in front of them. For example when it comes to a patient being depressed and not saying something, some of the behaviors we as nurses can look for would be anxiety, not being able to sleep or sleeping too much, eating too much or not enough, fluctuation in weight, mood swings, or loss of interest in the things they used to enjoy doing.


In conclusion, Roy’s Adaptation Model is a great model to start teaching within all nursing programs. Nurses are used to being taught only the basic nursing process which does not take into the consideration the persons behaviors or stimuli to the environment. I believe patients and their support systems would have better outcomes if Roy’s adaptation model was practiced throughout nursing as a whole.


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The Roy Adaptation Model was proposed by Sister Callista Roy and first published in 1970. The model has greatly influenced the profession of nursing. It is one of the most frequently used models to guide nursing research.

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