1 a conceptual framework devised to be used as a guide in making a diagnosis, understanding a developmental process, and forming a prognosis for continued development. It has five components: The identifiable state describes the stage, level, phase, or period of the condition or process; the shift in state identifies qualities of change as progressive, sudden, abrupt, or recurrent; and the form of progression describes patterns of development as linear, spiral, or oscillating. The force that triggers the change or the step in development may be self-actualization or any form of stress. Development is ultimately constrained by the fifth component, potentiality, the genetic and environmental possibility of growth.
2 (in nursing) a conceptual framework describing four stages, or processes, of development in the patient during therapy. In the first stage, called orientation, the patient begins a relationship with the nurse or other therapist and begins to clarify the problem with his or her help. In the second stage, called identification, the patient develops a sense of closeness and attachment to the therapist. During this period the patient and the therapist work comfortably together. In the third stage, called exploitation, the patient makes full use of the nursing services offered, begins to assume some control of the interactions, and becomes more independent. During the last stage, called resolution, the therapeutic relationship is terminated; the patient is independent and no longer needs the nurse or therapist. With this model the nurse therapist may plan nursing interventions appropriate to the patient's developmental level. The developmental model is one of the earliest nursing models to be developed. It views the person as a psychobiological being whose needs are expressed in behavior and who is unique and capable of learning and changing. Health is viewed as a forward movement of personality development and other ongoing processes, reflected by the person's creative, constructive, and productive community living. Thus the focus of nursing is to promote this forward movement by assisting the patient in self-repair and self-renewal.