A theoretical model is described whose particular emphasis is directed towards operationalizing the statements: ‘effective teaching bridges the gap between information and practice’ or ‘teaching is more than telling’. It concentrates on nurse behaviours (facilitation) designed to actively engage the patient in learning, whereby he accepts his diagnosis or situation, projects the effects of prescribed therapy on his future life, and commits his intentions to practice.

It utilizes principles of learning derived from the perceptual (phenomenological) approach and indicates the nurses' responsibilities. The model identifies four critical elements in the engagement process–the patient's values, his perception of the disease threat, his perceived utility of the prescription, and the facilitating behaviours of the nurse. The strategy is adapted from a combination of the Health Belief Model and the Personal Choice Model.