How to solve a clinical situation using Johnson’s theory of nursing

How to solve a clinical situation using Johnson’s theory of nursing

Discussion prompt

Johnson viewed health as efficient and effective functioning of the system, and as behavioral system balance and stability. Behavioral system balance and stability are demonstrated by observed behavior that is purposeful, orderly, and predictable. Consider a clinical-practice situation that demonstrates Johnson’s model of health. How can the nurse support this theory to return the patient to balance and stability?

At least 500 words

Solving a clinical situation using Johnson’s Theory

The behavioral model of the nursing system states that every person has a purposeful repetitive, and patterned way of acting, which comprises a behavioral system that is specific to that individual. It fosters efficient and effective behavioral functioning in an individual to prevent diseases and illnesses. The behavioral system is composed of 7 behavioral subsystems (Medlock & Wyatt, 2019). They include sexual, dependency, affiliative, eliminative, achievement, aggressive, and ingestive. Each of these subsystems has three specific functional requirements, including stimulation of growth, providing a nurturing environment, and providing a nurturing environment. Disequilibrium results when there is an imbalance in each system. The main role of a nurse is to help individuals maintain their equilibrium.

The model views human beings as having two central systems: the behavioral and the biological systems.  Nurses must strive to make individuals adjust to regain, maintain and achieve balance to the steady-state adaptations (Karkhah et al., 2020). On the other hand, the environment includes all the elements surrounding the human systems, including stressors. Health is seen as the ability of an individual to maintain a certain degree of constancy and regularity in behavior.  Human beings need to adjust to their dependent nature to be able to be functional in society. Finally, nurses need tact to preserve the healthcare organization and integrate patients’ behavior at an optimum level in situations in which patients’ behavior may be a threat to social or physical health or in which illness is found.

Application in a clinical situation

Nurses can apply the behavioral model in various clinical situations. For example, in a case involving a 70-year-old man admitted to a healthcare setting with symptoms of severe left-sided hematoma on the wrist with visible symptoms of pain and swelling in the area. The patient has a past medical history of Alzheimer’s disease. He also has a history of hypertension and diabetes in the past ten years. The patient reported severe pain in the past 6 months. According to the pain scale, the patient reported a score of 7.5. The patient was hospitalized, and pain medications were prescribed. While in the hospital, the man was reluctant to feed, and his appetite was diminished. The man reported that he did not have a good relationship with his wife. His other problems were fatigue and constipation.

In the above clinical situation, the nurse can utilize the behavioral model to manage the patient. The nurse needs to ensure stability in all the seven subsystems.  Regarding affiliative subsystems, the nurse needs to include the primary caregiver and the individuals close to the patient. Inclusion of the significant others in the care of the patient will ensure improved outcomes. The caregiver can learn about the new needs of the patient and set goals to ensure that the daily needs of the patient are met. The nurse needs to recognize the need for physical assistance.  The nurse needs to calm the patient and report their findings regarding the pain assessment. The nurse can manage the pain by administering the prescribed medications in addition to cold compression.

On the ingestive subsystem, the nurse should communicate the importance of feeding in his current status. Educating the importance of feeding makes the patient interested in food. To ensure proper nutrition, the nurse can check for nutritional status, check the client’s weight, and regularly administer a small amount of food to the patient.  Regarding the eliminative subsystem, the nurse needs to manage constipation and ensure that elimination needs are met. The nurse can advise the patient to consume fiber-rich foods, drink a lot of water and take plenty of fruits and vegetables. The nurse can also use pharmacological therapy to manage constipation. In the achievement subsystem, the nurse needs to educate the patient on coping with Alzheimer’s. Since the patient will suffer a progressive memory loss, the caregivers need to adjust their environment to ensure they effectively cope with the disorder.


Karkhah, S., Ghazanfari, M. J., Norouzi, M., Khaleghdoust, T., Dahka, S. M., & Taheri, Z. (2020). Designing a nursing care plan based on Johnson’s behavioral model in patients with wrist joint hematoma: A case study.

Medlock, S., & Wyatt, J. C. (2019). Health behavior theory in health informatics: support for positive change. Stud Health Technol Inform263, 146-158.

Related Posts:

Translate »