Current views of health and illness recognize health as more than the absence of disease. Realizing that humans are dynamic beings whose state of health can change from day to day or even from hour to hour, leaders in the health field suggest that it is better to think of each person as being located on a graduated scale or continuous spectrum (continuum) ranging from obvious dire illness through the absence of discernible disease to a state of optimal functioning in every aspect of one’s life. High-level wellness is described as a dynamic process in which the individual is actively engaged in moving toward fulfillment of his or her potential.
2. See Window on Health Education.
Person and environment are defined as co-extensive, open energy fields. The two evolve together and move toward increasing complexity and diversity, manifested in patterns of interaction that occur along continua of time and space. Person is also defined as a specific pattern of consciousness.
Health is a process of expanding consciousness that synthesizes disease and non-disease and is recognized by patterns of person-environment interaction. An understanding of pattern is basic to an understanding of health, and involves the movement from looking at parts to looking at the whole. Pattern is defined as information that depicts the whole, and gives an understanding of the meaning of relationships.
Nursing is an integrative force within the new paradigm of health seen as the undivided wholeness of the person in interaction and as a process of evolving consciousness. The nursing process is modified by Newman and encompasses nursing diagnosis/intervention based on the unique configuration of each person-environment interaction. Intervention is broadly intepreted as the recognition and augmentation of person-environment patterns, where