Dorothy Johnson, Ida Jean Orlando, and the 1950’s to 1960’s


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?
The theories and theorists discussed in this module include Dorothy Johnson (Behavioral Systems Model).
This theory view persons (families, groups, communities) as integrated wholes or integrated systems
interacting with the larger environmental system. The health or well-being of the person is influenced by
environmental factors. This module introduces the work of Ernestine Wiedenbach, Lydia Hall, Ida Jean
Orlando, and Joyce Travelbee. This module summarizes each of these early scholars and their
conceptualization of nursing and the nurse-patient relationship. Their work situated the focus of nursing from
performance of tasks to engagement in a therapeutic relationship designed to facilitate health and healing.

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