Selye's General Adaptation Syndrome Theory in Cardiovascular Disease

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When adapting nursing care for particular clients, it is important to consider applicable theories used in guiding practice. Hans Selye's theory of general adaptation syndrome or stress response for instance, is helpful to consider when caring for patients whose challenges may be partially caused or exacerbated by many overlapping factors within both the internal and external environments. Important also to nursing is the metaparadigm which forms the framework of nursing theories. The metaparadigm for nursing revolves around the concepts of the client as recipient, the environment, health, and nursing, all of which can be used in discussing any nursing endeavor (Berman and Snyder, 2012, Chapter 3, p. 41). Selye's study of stress and …show more content…
In particular, stress as a contributing element to the experience and worsening of cardiovascular disease has received a great deal of attention. This relationship was established based on the effects that result from sympathetic activation which creates a situation where the blood volume, heart rate and contractility, and blood pressure is increased (VanMeter and Hubert, 2014, Chapter 12). Over time, the over-utilization of these adaptive mechanisms results in damage to blood vessels and potentially the heart, as these systems must work harder to provide for the increased demands (VanMeter and Hubert, 2014, Chapter 12). These evolving maladies associated with stress are among what Selye would consider to be “diseases of adaptation” which result from poor adaptation in facing a stressor (Selye, 1950). This damage results in inflammation and the narrowing of the blood vessels due to the aggregations which occur at the damage site. This both increases the client's hypertension due to increased peripheral resistance and also risk for ischemia or infarctions as pieces can break off of accumulated aggregations (thrombi) (VanMeter and Hubert, 2014, Chapter 12). At the same time circulating glucocorticoids' catabolic effects and decreased blood flow to certain

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