Systems Thinking, Complex Adaptive Systems and Health: An Overview on New Perspectives for Nursing Education

  • I. NotarnicolaEmail author
  • A. Stievano
  • A. Pulimeno
  • G. Rocco
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 804)


This article describes a new concept of health, originally developed and published in 2014. This model offers a new understanding of health, disease and healing that may be very useful for patient care. In fact, the Meikirch model leads to a new comprehension of health as a complex adaptive system. Systems thinking and complex adaptive systems share a number of components, namely: emergence, self-organization, and hierarchies of interacting systems. Systems thinking, especially with simulation models, facilitates understanding of health as a complex phenomenon. Therefore, the simulation model is becoming an excellent translator of complex problems in easily understandable results. Systemic thinking is a process that can influence cause and effect and prompts solutions to multifaceted tribulations. In conclusion, this paper describes the principles of complementarity and of differences between scientific approaches for systemic thinking and traditional thinking and suggests that it is time for research approaches that fosters a non-mechanistic thinking.


Systems thinking Complex adaptive systems Health Systems modeling Nursing 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. Notarnicola
    • 1
    Email author
  • A. Stievano
    • 1
  • A. Pulimeno
    • 1
  • G. Rocco
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre of Excellence for Nursing ScholarshipOPI RomeItaly

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