Application of Roy’s Nursing Theory on Mental Health


The success of nursing and mental health care is dependent on the interpersonal relationship and interactions that professionals establish with their clients. Mental health experts and nurses have to provide intensified presence as well portray a strong desire to be supportive to their ailing clients. This is achieved through empathy, being supportive, availability, being genuine without reluctancy, and demonstrating self- awareness for the client. This means that the theories of mental health and nursing can sometimes be used interchangeably to solve different problems in both fields.

Roy’s adaptation theory of nursing

Roy adaptation theory as an approach to nursing was developed by Sister Callista Roy. Roy stated that the aim of nursing was to help patients adapt both mentally and emotionally to their situation. Roy’s theory states that an individual’s adaptation occurs in four different modes: Physiological mode, Self-concept-group identity mode,

Role function mode, and Interdependence mode

The theory is based on the premise that human beings are both psychological and biological beings and are consequently largely affected by their external environment due to their constant interaction.
Consider the case of a hypothetical client known as Sabina. She is an African American immigrant who has been having violent psychotic episodes which interacting with her Caucasian classmates and delusions that her

Caucasian neighbor is plotting to murder her.

  • The first step is to asses Sabina’s adaptation levels under the four modes.

Physiological mode: Sabina’s ability to meet the basic survival needs like nutrition sleep and rest habits.

Self-concept-group identity mode: Is Sabina depressed because no family member was near and does this make her feel lost and alienated? What beliefs and feelings does she portray about herself?

Role function mode: Does Sabina think that she is of little use because her family was far away and most of the people around her are of a different ethnic background?

Interdependence mode: Is Sabina isolated because she has no relative in her current place of residence?

  • The second step is to analyze the environmental aspects surrounding Sabina to see whether there is any stimulus relating to her current condition. For example has Sabina experienced any form of racism prior to her condition?
  • The third step is diagnosing Sabina’s condition and setting goals to improve her adaptation and dealing with any external stimulus might have contributed to Sabina’s current condition.
  • The final step is examination of the treatment rationale and the model’s effectiveness.

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