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Nursing: Human Needs Theory Case Study


When working with patients, nurses need to be sure that patients and their family members can successfully address their basic needs and take care of themselves. In the discussed case study, a male Mexican American patient suffering from diabetes needs the assistance of his wife and patient education related to making insulin injections and using syringes. He also has problems with his vision, and he experiences stress associated with his daughter’s death. It is possible to apply two theories to discussing this case, which is Dorothea Orem’s Self-Care Deficit Theory and Betty Neuman’s Systems Model (McEwen & Wills, 2019). The purpose of this paper is to compare the information from the case study to the theories as well as to compare the case study data to personal nursing practice.

Aspects of the Case Study in the Context of the Theories

While referring to the case study, it is possible to state that the male patient experiences a problem with applying insulin because he cannot independently use syringes and other tools. He needs the assistance of his wife who has limited knowledge of English, but he hesitates to ask the medical personnel about the necessary education. The situation is also complicated concerning the fact that the patient’s daughter was murdered only some time ago. The patient suffers from significant stress associated with the necessity to cope with the loss and bring up their granddaughter. According to Orem’s Self-Care Deficit Theory, nurses should provide patients with support and assistance to guarantee that individuals can take care of themselves independently and achieve positive health outcomes (McEwen & Wills, 2019; Younas, 2017). In the context of this theory, patients are viewed as self-reliant, independent, and responsible for their health and care. Therefore, it is important to address the deficit they have as a result of interacting with nurses and receiving some guidance.

In the discussed case, nurses are required to appoint meetings with the male patient and his wife to conduct an educational session. In addition, it is preferable to conduct education in Spanish to involve the patient’s wife actively. The patient and his wife should be provided with all the information on how to manage diabetes and administer insulin in their situation. The purpose of such a session is explained in the theory concerning addressing a deficit and providing an individual with all the important information on his health condition (Younas, 2017). In this situation, a patient becomes informed, educated, guided, and supported to realize self-care most efficiently. When comparing the case study’s details with the assumptions of Orem’s Self-Care Deficit Theory, it is possible to find similarities in the nurse’s actions and Orem’s prescriptions for nurse educators.

It is also possible to discuss and compare the details of the case study with a focus on Neuman’s Systems Model. According to this theory, nurses should apply primary, secondary, and tertiary nursing prevention interventions to help patients cope with particular stressors (Ahmadi & Sadeghi, 2017). The discussed patient experiences stress associated with the death of his daughter. In addition, the necessity of bringing up a child is also a critical stress factor. Finally, the patient experiences problems with using insulin, and the situation is stressful as he cannot effectively follow a prescription. Relying on Neuman’s theory, it is possible to discuss nursing prevention interventions for the patient (Ahmadi & Sadeghi, 2017). The primary prevention intervention that could be applied is a nurse’s assessment of the male patient’s ability to use insulin independently. The second intervention could be associated with referring to the wife’s help and prescribing any medications or therapist counseling for the patient to cope with the side effects of stress. The tertiary intervention could be follow-up visits to control the patient’s progress. These strategies are directly linked to the principles of Neuman’s Systems Model.

Comparison of the Case Study and Personal Nursing Practice

When comparing the case study’s details with a personal practice of a nurse, it is possible to state that the application of the discussed theories is frequently observed. For example, in personal practice, a patient having diabetes and requiring insulin injections did not follow prescriptions regarding the schedule of making injections and taking medications. As a result, some side effects became observed in a month, and he required prescribing additional treatment. Thus, the nurses working with the patient had to pay more attention to educating him and guaranteeing he could perform adequate self-care in the context of Orem’s Self-Care Deficit Theory (McEwen & Wills, 2019; Younas, 2017). One should also note that the self-care deficits of that patient needed to be covered during direct and regular interactions with nurses. Nurses need to promote the patient’s human functioning and well-being with the help of required education and support.

Another important example is associated with the patient who did not follow a treatment regimen because of stress associated with his disease. Thus, the patient learned that he suffered from multiple sclerosis, and stress caused him to reject healthcare providers’ recommendations, guidelines, and prescriptions. In this situation, it could be appropriate to apply the rules of Neuman’s Systems Model and follow the principle of flexibility while providing holistic care for the patient (Ahmadi & Sadeghi, 2017). To avoid such negative effects of the patient’s reaction to his diagnosis on the treatment regimen and health outcomes, it could be possible to apply the principle of the prevention interventions used in the context of Neuman’s Systems Model (McEwen & Wills, 2019). It is possible to state that these examples are used to effectively illustrate how certain theories can be applied in real nursing practice to improve care services and treatment.


In conclusion, one should state that the comparison of the case study details and the nursing theories has been realized along with the comparison of the case study and nursing practice. Orem’s Self-Care Deficit Theory and Neuman’s Systems Model can be regarded as the most appropriate theories to explain the specifics of the patient’s reactions and experiences presented in the case study. As a result, the focus was on the patient’s inability to administer insulin independently as well as on the experienced stress that can provoke certain complications for the patient and his family. In addition, the comparison of the case study with the examples from a nurse’s practice demonstrated how it is possible to apply theoretical assumptions and implications in everyday activities. From this perspective, the interactive case study method can be viewed as rather helpful and informative for nurses to improve their skills, knowledge, competence, and performance.


Ahmadi, Z., & Sadeghi, T. (2017). Application of the Betty Neuman systems model in the nursing care of patients/clients with multiple sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis Journal–Experimental, Translational and Clinical, 3(3), 1-10. Web.

McEwen, M., & Wills, E. M. (2019). Theoretical basis for nursing (5th ed.). Wolters Kluwer.

Younas, A. (2017). A foundational analysis of Dorothea Orem’s Self-Care Theory and evaluation of its significance for nursing practice and research. Creative Nursing, 23(1), 13-23. Web.

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"Nursing: Human Needs Theory Case Study." StudyKraken, 30 Aug. 2022,

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StudyKraken. "Nursing: Human Needs Theory Case Study." August 30, 2022.


StudyKraken. 2022. "Nursing: Human Needs Theory Case Study." August 30, 2022.


StudyKraken. (2022) 'Nursing: Human Needs Theory Case Study'. 30 August.

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