Myra Levine’s Conservation Model of Nursing
Myra Levine’s Conservation Model of Nursing provides four principles of conservation that promote adaptation and maintenance of wholeness (Petiprin, 2016). The principles include the conservation of energy: balance of energy intake and usage through nutrition, exercise, and rest; conservation of structural integrity: maintaining and healing the physical body; conservation of personal integrity: provide needs for individual personality; and conservation of social integrity: maintenance of a patient’s family and other social groups’ function (Petiprin, 2016).
Levine was inspired by the need for a new approach to daily nursing activities. In the 1970s, the nursing education practices were extensively procedural. Levine preferred an individualized nursing practice with a special focus on problem solving. Functioning on the principle that “the nurse creates an environment in which healing occur”, the Conservation Model direct the nurse to concentrate on the influences and responses of patients at the orgasmic level (Petiprin, 2016). Another important assumption is that every patient has a unique pattern of adaptive response during interaction with the environment. The sole purpose of this theory is to preserve the wholeness of individuals by focusing on the influence of all the four conservation principles.
The Conservation Theory of Nursing can be applied in the management of long-term acute care patients with extended hospital stay. This group of patients can suffer lack of exercise, poor nutrition, separation from families and friends, and reliance on others to fulfill needs. The conservation model can be used to facilitate family interactions and to ensure the patients eat well and exercise. Support for individual personality including self esteem and recognition can also be offered. The theory has generated research on a range of topics including wound management (illustrated below), care of the homeless, and care of dialysis patients. Using a conceptual model of conservation, Mock et al. investigated the mitigation of fatigue in cancer patients (2008). Levine’s four conservation principles were utilized in the development of exercise therapies and the evaluation of appropriate outcomes, proving to be effective.
Figure 1. Illustration of Wound Management through the Conservation Model
(Source: Leach, 2006)
Levine’s Conservation Model is comprehensive due to its wide application in the medical practice and education. Therefore, its application may fail to provide specific mediating mechanisms of concepts, requiring the use of additional theories.
Leach, M. (2006). Wound management: Using Levine’s conservation model to guide practice. Ostonomy Wound Management, 58(2), 74-80. Retrieved from https://www.academia.edu/29018598/Wound_management_Using_Levines_conservation_model_to_guide_practice
Mock, V., Ours, C.S., Hall, S., Belcher, A., Krumm, S. & McCorkle, R. (2008). Using conceptual model in nursing research – mitigating fatigue in cancer patients. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 58(5), 503-512. Retrieved from https://europepmc.org/articles/pmc2505113
Petiprin, A. (2016). Four conservation principles. Nursing Theory. Retrieved from http://www.nursing-theory.org/theories-and-models/levine-four-conservation-principles.php