Imogene Kings Conceptual Systems Theory: A Comprehensive Guide for Nurses

Imogene Kings Conceptual Systems Theory

Imogene Kings Conceptual Systems Theory is a key component in nursing education. This comprehensive guide provides a detailed explanation of the theory, its components and how it can be applied in practice.

Introduction

Imogene King was a renowned nursing theorist and researcher who developed the Conceptual Systems Theory, a comprehensive framework that outlines the interrelationships between the individual, group, and organizational systems. This theory has been widely adopted in nursing education and practice and is considered a cornerstone of the nursing profession. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide to Imogene King’s Conceptual Systems Theory and its applications in nursing practice.

Components of Imogene Kings Conceptual Systems Theory

King’s Conceptual System Theory,interchangeably referred to as the General Systems Framework is a theory that concentrates on the continuing ability of people to meet their basic needs to enable them to function in the roles society has defined for them. 

Developed by Imogene King, a respected nurse theorist in the 1970s, she researched the need to focus, organize, and use a nursing knowledge base. King proposed the King’s Conceptual System Theory in 1971 revolving around the concepts of social systems, health, perception, and interpersonal relationship are deemed to be universal to the nursing discipline (Adib-Hajbaghery & Tahmouresi, 2018). 

In the King’s Conceptual System Theory, King contends that the concepts are interrelated and can be applied across systems right from the personal system, the interpersonal system, and the social system. Each system has its own set of characteristics and functions that influence and are influenced by the other systems.

  1. The Personal System – King argued that individuals are personal systems at the personal system level, where each individual is a unique system, total, and open in constant interaction with its surroundings. King posited that for human beings to be regarded as personal systems, they must have the concept s of body image, perception, self, space, and time.
    1. At the lowest level, every individual, from the nurse to the patient and every other person, is a personal system.
    2. The personal system encompasses the individual’s perceptions, beliefs, and values. It also includes the person’s physical, psychological, and spiritual status, as well as their personal goals and objectives.
  2. The Interpersonal System – The interpersonal system involves interactions between two or more individuals, such as communication, relationships, and roles. The interpersonal system is influenced by the personal system, and in turn, it influences the personal system.
    1. At level two, interpersonal systems emerge as two or more individuals interact. Group sizes are as small as two but increase in complexity as more and more individuals continue to interact. 
    2. Under King’s Conceptual System Theory, therefore, the nursing process arises when the nurse and the patient interact.
    3. A comprehensive understanding of the interpersonal system captures important aspects like communication, interaction, role, stress, stressors, and transaction. These include dyads like a patient-provider or a triad involving the patient, provider, and family.
  3. The Social System – The social system is the larger environment in which individuals live and interact. It includes cultural and political systems, as well as organizations and communities. The social system influences the personal and interpersonal systems, and they, in turn, influence the social system. Level three involves forming social systems that arise as large groups of people with common interests emerge.
    1. Therefore, a social system describes an organized boundary system of social roles, behaviors, and practices formed retain values and the regulatory mechanisms of practice and rules. 
    2. Notable aspects that enhance the social system’s perception are the organization, authority, power, and decision-making processes that are goal-directed. 
    3. Examples of social systems include but are not limited to workplaces, healthcare settings, religious bodies, and learning institutions and families.
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How the King’s Conceptual Systems Theory Influence Goal Attainment 

Once the nurse understands the three levels of systems, they have to remember that nursing’s ultimate goal as envisaged by the American Nurses Association is to help individuals, their families, groups, and communities attain an optimum state of health well-being. 

According to da Silva & Ferreira (2016), the goal is realized through the restoration, maintenance, and promotion of their health. Therefore, the Theory of Goal Attainment (Goal Attainment Theory ) is derived from King’s Conceptual Systems Theory with King stating that Goal Attainment Theory  should be the standard of all nursing practice guiding all nurse-patient interactions. 

Goal Attainment Theory concentrates on how patient goals are achieved through interactions between the nurse and their patients. The three systems impact the communication and integration that happens between the nurse and their patient. 

King’s Conceptual System Theory is instrumental in helping the attainment of these goals and the set standards to communicate, organize, and make decisions that are timely and appropriate.  

Applying Imogene King’s Conceptual Systems Theory in Nursing Practice

The Conceptual Systems Theory can be applied in nursing practice in several ways, including:

  1. Assessing the patient: Nurses can use the theory to gain a comprehensive understanding of the patient’s personal, interpersonal, and social systems, which can be used to develop individualized care plans.
  2. Promoting communication: By understanding the interpersonal system, nurses can promote effective communication between patients, families, and healthcare providers, which can lead to improved patient outcomes.
  3. Supporting patient goals: By understanding the personal system, nurses can support patients in achieving their personal goals and objectives, which can lead to improved health outcomes and overall satisfaction with care.
  4. Advocating for patients: By understanding the social system, nurses can advocate for their patients and work to address systemic barriers that may impact their health and well-being.

King’s Theory and Definition of a Clinical Quality Problem

King’s Conceptual System Theory remains relevant to contemporary nursing since it can help define a clinical quality problem by setting the expectations for a nurse to communicate effectively with their patients besides cultivating a nurse-patient relationship that is transparently open and trusting. 

The moment the patient’s goals are mutually agreed upon, their attainment’s success rate also rises. Attainment of goals represents the desired results, while the results themselves mean that the nurse in context has been efficient and effective.

The nurse’s efficacy demonstrates that effective communication occurred, thus creating a healthy nurse-patient relationship.

Application of King’s Conceptual System Theory to A Potential Practice Quality Improvement Initiative

King’s Conceptual System Theory provides a comprehensive framework for understanding the healthcare system and can be applied to quality improvement initiatives in several ways. By analyzing the interrelated components of the healthcare system, healthcare providers can identify areas for improvement and create targeted strategies to address these areas.

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One potential application of King’s Conceptual System Theory is in the area of patient-centered care. The personal system component of the theory emphasizes the importance of understanding the patient’s experiences and beliefs, and incorporating these into the care they receive. By focusing on the patient as an individual, healthcare providers can create a more personalized and effective care plan.

Another potential application of King’s Conceptual System Theory is in improving healthcare provider communication and collaboration. The interpersonal system component of the theory emphasizes the importance of relationships and interactions between healthcare providers. By improving communication and collaboration between healthcare providers, patients can receive more coordinated and effective care.

Finally, King’s Conceptual System Theory can be applied to addressing broader social, political, and economic factors that impact the healthcare system. By understanding the social system component of the theory, healthcare providers can work to address the root causes of quality issues, such as healthcare policies and regulations. 

A Quality Committee Alignment of Outcomes with King’s Conceptual System Theory

Healthcare organizations have different committees where nurses can become committee members. These include the Quality Improvement Committee, the Shared Governance Committee. Some committee members are nurse-led, hold meetings several times a year, and mostly on a monthly or quarterly basis. During the meetings, various issues are discussed, particularly on the facilitators and barriers to attaining various goals set out by the organization; through communication, King’s Conceptual System Theory aligns its goals, which trickles down to the patient outcomes be attained.

Hildegard Peplau Nurse-Patient Relationship Theory and Its Alignment to King’s Conceptual System Theory

One of the theories that align with King’s Conceptual System Theory is Peplau’s Nurse-Patient Relationship in more ways than one. Both theories acknowledge that nursing is an interpersonal process that embraces the interaction between two or more individuals, which in this care is primarily the provider-patient relationship. 

Similarly, the two theorists express the centrality of communication as crucial in forming a trusting relationship between the nurse and their patient to effectively assess and diagnose the patient to facilitate the development of working care plans that benefit the patient.

Conclusion 

King’s Conceptual System Theory provides a comprehensive framework for understanding and improving the healthcare system. By analyzing the interrelated components of the healthcare system, healthcare providers can identify areas for improvement and create targeted strategies to address these areas. Whether it’s through patient-centered care, improved healthcare provider communication and collaboration, or addressing broader social, political, and economic factors, King’s Conceptual System Theory can help to improve the quality of care provided to patients.

What is Imogene King’s Conceptual Systems Theory?

Imogene King’s Conceptual Systems Theory is a comprehensive framework that outlines the interrelationships between the individual, group, and organizational systems.

What are the three systems in Imogene King’s Conceptual Systems Theory?

The three systems in Imogene King’s Conceptual Systems Theory are the personal system, the interpersonal system, and the social system.

How can Imogene King’s Conceptual Systems Theory be applied in nursing practice?

Imogene King’s Conceptual Systems Theory can be applied in nursing practice by assessing the patient, promoting communication, supporting patient goals, and advocating for patients.

What is the nursing theory of Imogene King’s conceptual system? The Imogene King’s conceptual system is a comprehensive framework that outlines the interrelationships between the individual, group, and organizational systems. This theory has been widely adopted in nursing education and practice and is considered a cornerstone of the nursing profession

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What are the three systems of King’s conceptual system theory? the personal system, the interpersonal system, and the social system. Each system has its own set of characteristics and functions that influence and are influenced by the other systems. 

What are the major concepts of goal attainment theory? The major concepts of Imogene King’s goal attainment theory include the interrelatedness of the personal, interpersonal, and social systems and how these systems influence and are influenced by one another in the attainment of individual goals.

What is Imogene King theory? Imogene King’s theory is a comprehensive framework for understanding the relationships between the individual, group, and organizational systems in healthcare. It is widely used in nursing education and practice

What is King’s conceptual system and theory of goal attainment? Imogene King’s conceptual system and theory of goal attainment outlines the interrelationships between the personal, interpersonal, and social systems and their impact on the attainment of individual goals. 

What is Imogene King space theory of Nursing? Imogene King’s space theory of nursing is a holistic framework that focuses on the interrelatedness of the personal, interpersonal, and social systems, as well as the physical and temporal aspects of nursing.

Are nursing interventions based on King’s conceptual model effective? Nursing interventions based on King’s conceptual model have been shown to be effective in improving patient outcomes and overall satisfaction with care. However, further research is needed to fully evaluate the effectiveness of these interventions.

Imogene King nursing theory articles – imogene king journal articles

Adib-Hajbaghery, M., & Tahmouresi, M. (2018). Nurse–patient relationship based on Imogene king’s theory of goal attainment. Nursing and Midwifery Studies, 7(3), 141.

Caceres, B. A. (2015). King’s Theory of Goal Attainment: exploring functional status. Nursing science quarterly, 28(2), 151-155.

Da Silva, R. N., & Ferreira, M. D. A. (2016). Users’ participation in nursing care: an element of the Theory of Goal Attainment. Contemporary Nurse, 52(1), 74-84.

Hagerty, T. A., Samuels, W., Norcini-Pala, A., & Gigliotti, E. (2017). Peplau’s Theory of Interpersonal Relations: An Alternate Factor Structure for Patient Experience Data? Nursing science quarterly, 30(2), 160-167.

Scobbie, L., Dixon, D., & Wyke, S. (2011). Goal setting and action planning in the rehabilitation setting: development of a theoretically informed practice framework. Clinical Rehabilitation, 25(5), 468-482.

Duwe, G. (2017). The use and impact of correctional programming for inmates on pre-and post-release outcomes. US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice.

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