The main criticism of Neuman's Systems Model is that
many of the concepts are not adequately defined, especially
the difference between interpersonal and extrapersonal
stressors. It seems as though interpersonal stressors
should be a subcategory or special case of extrapersonal
stressors. The term reaction needs to be better defined
as well as the terms knowns and commons.
In the model's nursing process, assessment and intervention
are assumed, but not explicit, thus allowing anyone else
to usurp these functions. This point needs to be addressed;
do assessment and intervention belong to nursing, or can
they be delegated to another profession?
Finally, the question must be asked as to how accurate
the model is in representing human beings and their interactions
with the environment. While it is useful to think of people
as layered and made up of five principles, it is not always
easy to predict or describe their interplay. Moreover,
since each layer is composed of all the person variables,
it is not always clear as to what layer is being assessed
in any operationalized variable.
Despite the criticisms, the Neuman Systems Model is an
excellent way for nurses and other health professionals
to think about stress and prevention.