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Holy Family Health Promotion: University Family Center

Contributors: Danny Willis and Sr. Clare Marie Butt
September 14, 2018

Practice/Theory Exemplar (Roy Adaptation Model)

Philadelphia, PA, USA

Description of the setting 

The Mission of the Holy Family University Family Center is to provide resources to families through education, counseling, consultation, and advocacy. These resources serve to empower families to adapt to changes in the environment, changes in relationships within the family, and the changing needs of family members.

The goals of the Family Center are to offer support services for families that:

Key nurses involved in implementation
Date of Implementation – 2013
Theoretical Framework

The Family Center Philosophy and guiding principles are based on the Roy Adaptation Model (RAM). and the Middle Range Theory of the Adapting Family based on the RAM. The philosophy of the program is as follows (download PDF here)

“As an individual’s most important primary group, the family is the focus of services offered by the Family Center of Holy Family University.
The family may constellate in many different ways, traditional or nontraditional, alternative or other. These groupings may be the biological
nuclear family of mother-father-child; a blended family of multiple adults and children from different genetic backgrounds; a close-knit
extended group living in close proximity; an expanded group separated by distance and characteristics; a group of self-chosen persons
with some common interest; or any variation of the above. The Roy Adaptation Model serves as a useful way to structure the services
addressing these various forms of family makeup and their ongoing pattern of changes as the family forms, develops, grows, and survives.

“According to the Roy Adaptation Model, the family adapts to changes in the environment, changes in relationships within the family,
and the changing needs of family members. In order to respond to these changes, the family engages in processes of socialization, support,
and nurturing. The outcomes of the family’s successful adaptation are family survival, family continuity, and family growth.” (from attached PDF)


The Center offers a series of workshops and services that are offered by the Family Center. .   The workshops address family challenges such as suicide prevention, support for family care-givers, celebrating diversity, and coping with dementia.  See the workshop website for detailed information.

Approach to Evaluation

Our program participants evaluate the extent to which the objectives of each session are met. They also provide feedback in the form of suggestions for new topics. These summative evaluations provide evidence of outcome achievement and form the basis for future program development.

Practice Recommendations

Continue to collaborate with other disciplines to provide services to improve health in the community with a committed focus to broadening the notion of health and focusing on a whole-person orientation.

Hanna, D. R. & Roy, C. (2001). Roy adaptation model and perspectives on the family. Nursing Science Quarterly, 14, 9-13.
Hayden, S. J. & Buckner, E. B. (2014). Synthesis of middle range theory of the adapting family.  In C. Roy, Generating middle range theory: From evidence to practice (pp. 309-325).  New York: Springer.
Martsolf, G. R., Mason, D. J., Sloan, J., Sullivan, C. G. & Villarruel, A. M. (2017). Nurse-designed care models and culture of health: Review of three case studies. Santa Monica, CA: RAND. Retrieved from:
Roy, C. (2009). The Roy adaptation model (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall Health.
Senesac, P. (2003). Implementing the Roy Adaptation Model: From theory to practice. Roy Adaptation Association Review, 4(2), 5.


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