While completing a master’s degree at the University of California- Los Angeles, Sister Callista Roy theorized that the ultimate goal of nursing was to promote adaptation (Clarke, Barone, Hanna, & Senesac, 2011). Applying scientific knowledge to nursing practice, her framework aimed to improve nursing care by providing a holistic perspective to the adaptive behaviours of individuals and groups. Since publication in 1970, Sister Callista Roy has continued to refine her theory of adaptation, addressing its limitations and expanding upon philosophical insights (Roy, 2009). Today, Roy’s theory is one of the most commonly used frameworks in nursing, guiding research, education, and clinical ...view middle of the document...
Within the regulator-cognator subsystem, the regulator is described as an automatic, unconscious, and an innate physiological response to environmental changes (Roy, 2009). These types of responses are controlled by the neurological, chemical, and endocrine pathways, thus, genetically determined and similar amongst populations (Roy, 2009). In contrast, the cognator subsystem is an acquired coping process, learned and developed over time (Roy, 2009). This type of cognitive response is socially influenced, and consists of perceptual information processing, learning, judgement, and emotion (Roy, 2009).
Like the regulator subsystem, the stabilizer subsystem focuses on system maintenance and includes the structures, values, and daily activities of a group that strives to accomplish a common purpose (Roy, 2009). The innovatory subsystem consists of structures and processes related to group functioning involving both change and growth (Roy, 2009). This includes schools, businesses, community centers or other innovative infrastructures and institutions (Roy, 2009). Both individual and group subsystems work together to maintain human and environmental integration, however, environmental changes often present challenges which impact behaviour and affect coping (Roy, 2009).
Roy classifies these environmental challenges into three types of stimuli. The focal stimulus is an object or event causing immediate concern (Roy, 2009). This trigger can either be internal or external and is most often the client’s chief complaint or primary health challenge. Contextual stimuli consist of all other known factors that contribute to the focal stimulus and influence behaviour such as underlying health issues or other health determinants (Roy, 2009). Lastly, residual stimuli are environmental factors that impact the individual or group, however, their effects are unclear and those involved are unaware (Roy, 2009). This includes cultural attitudes, behaviours, and health care practices.
In order to directly observe the coping behaviours of individuals and groups, Roy proposed four adaptive modes, each containing distinctive needs (Roy, 2009).
The first adaptive mode is physiologic-physical. In this mode, an individual’s physiological needs consists of oxygenation, elimination, activity & rest, and protection (Roy, 2009). These needs are regulated by fluid, electrolyte, and acid-base balance, and neurologic-endocrine functioning and can be monitored through laboratory testing (Roy, 2009). Within groups, physical needs consist of operational resources (Roy, 2009). These include participants, capacities, physical facilities, and fiscal resources (Roy, 2009).
Self-concept – Group Identity
The second adaptive mode is self-concept – group identity. In this mode, the need for self-concept consists of psychic and spiritual integrity (Roy, 2009). Ultimately, this generates a sense of unity, meaning and...