"Family Health Assessment" is a great example of a paper on social and family issues. A family is a fundamental unit in social life1. Family life influences the values, behavior, and health of an individual therefore family health assessment is a key to bring positive and durable changes in the health of an individual and society and is crucial for health promotion and prevention of diseases. Gorden’ s 11 functional health patterns provide an efficient tool to evaluate the family health status, so appropriate intervention can be undertaken for a functionally healthy family.
Nurses use Gorden’ s 11 functional health patterns to evaluate family health, identify risk factors and if found necessary, health education and further treatment would be provided2. Mr. Joseph is a 55 years old engineer living with his wife Anna. They are enjoying married life for 25 years. They have two children named Andie and Maria, of ages 23 and 20 years respectively. They are living together in a five roomed house near Boston. Mr. Joseph is a known case of hypertension. Values and Health perception pattern: In the interview, all family members defined health as a disease and a pain-free state that includes physical and psychological well-being.
All family members are well aware of spiritual well-being. They reported that if a person is spiritually weak, he or she will also be psychologically ill. Joseph seeks medical advice as soon as he fell ill because he is afraid of complications of hypertension, but Anna, Andie and Maria sometimes ignore ailments like fever, cough and seeks medical advice only if the condition gets worse. Nutrition pattern: Joseph's family use to have breakfast and dinner together. Mostly they consume a large number of fats and carbohydrates, especially at the dinner table.
They consider food eating as a matter to satisfy taste buds so most of the time they ignore the vegetable and fruit components of a balanced diet. Family members are unaware of a balanced diet. Replying for micronutrients, Joseph's family considers that they are present in all foodstuffs either fast food or vegetable, and lack of micronutrients is a matter of concern only if it is ignored for a long time, say five or ten years. Sleep/ rest patterns: Mr. Joseph uses to sleep for seven hours a day and has a fixed time to go to bed.
Mrs. Joseph sleeps for nine hours a day but does not have a fixed time to go to bed. Andie and Maria have no fixed time and duration of sleep. They all enjoy undisturbed deep sleep and got up in the morning without any feeling of fatigue or sleep debt. Elimination pattern: Joseph's family reported no urinary complaint. Joseph, Maria, and Andie eliminate their bowel once a day. Anna eliminates once on every alternate day. Activity/ exercise pattern: Joseph is a software engineer so he spends most of his time in front of his computer.
He is not a member of the gymnasium and visits the park for walking only on weekends for thirty minutes. He uses to climb thirty stairs once daily to go to his office. Anna is a housewife and walks only inside the home for household purposes. She also has no membership in the gymnasium. Usually, she does not visit parks. Andie and Maria are students so they usually climb dozens of stairs and walk around one kilometer daily on their campus.
They do not visit parks for walking. None of them has ever participated in marathon races. All of the four do not exercise regularly and think that regular exercise is a time-consuming activity and it does not benefit the health state much. Cognitive pattern: Mr. Joseph was a bright student and he owes a well-reputed position in his Company. His problem-solving capacity is well known in his family and company. He usually tackles his problem himself. Anna was an average student of Arts. She found science and maths as difficult subjects.
She is able to solve her problems. Andie and Maria are average students in science. They believe that their problem-solving capacity is awesome but Maria takes time to get out of her problems. No episode of depression or other mental disorders has been reported in Joseph's family. Sensory perception pattern: All family members feel warmth and cold equally, in all body parts. No history of diabetes, painless cuts, and burns is found. Self-perception pattern: The whole family is contented with their present. All of the four grade themselves as good human beings and they all perceive themselves as contented and satisfied individuals.
They all are comfortable with their image. Role relationship pattern: Joseph's family use to have their breakfast and dinner together and all four are in a close relationship with each other. None of them feel lonely. Anna is a major caretaker of her house and looks after her home, children, and husband. She also attends social gatherings and is in close contact with her friends. Joseph, Andie, and Maria are also involved in household work to some extent. They are socially active too.
They meet their friends and colleagues regularly and enjoy social gatherings. Sexuality pattern: Joseph and Anna are sexually active whereas Maria and Andie are not. No sexual issues reported. They do not use any medication that interferes with sexual activity. Coping pattern: Mr. Joseph, Anna, Andie and, Maria get worried a lot when something goes wrong and tries their best to fix the problem. They are unable to get rid of Anxiety and sometimes Anxiety creates more problems for them. During anxiety they use to shout and unable to concentrate on their work. Whenever the boss scolds Mr. Joseph he does not usually feel depressed Andie has never become gloomy when scolded by a teacher or by parents but Maria and Anna become downhearted when scolded. Wellness nursing diagnosis: Readiness for enhanced nutritional metabolic pattern3: Joseph's family pays little importance to healthy dietary intake.
Joseph's family should be taught for balanced diet intake. Make them aware of the importance of a balanced diet and provide suitable dietary options to them for a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Vitamin and mineral’ s role in the human body should be highlighted and make them aware of the availability of these micronutrients in different vegetables and fruits.
Teach them regarding the daily need for different nutrients for the human body. Readiness for enhanced activity- exercise pattern3: The family is ignorant about regular exercise. The importance of activity and exercise should be emphasized and its benefits against the development of heart diseases should be highlighted. Make a suitable routine activity chart for individuals, involving sufficient walking and exercise time so that they can enjoy it. Make them aware of BMI and BMR. Readiness for enhanced individual coping3: Sessions should be arranged for individuals and make them learn different ways to face failures. Different modes to combat anxiety should be incorporated into sessions so that family members can handle the situation without mental distress. Therapies should be provided that can serve as anxiolytics. Family health assessment should be done for each and every family in the society so that minor ailments and risk factors can be eliminated through primary health care.
1. Nam, C. B. (2004). The Concept of The Family: Demographic and Genealogical Perspectives. Sociation today, 2.2. Retrieved from http://www.ncsociology.org/sociationtoday/v22/family.htm.
2. Moyet, L. J. C. (n.d.). Nursing Diagnosis: Application to clinical practice. Retrieved from http://books.google.com.pk/books/about/Nursing_Diagnosis.html?id=ZCzDj7D4PEYC&redir_esc=y
3. Weber, J. R. (2005). Nurse’s Handbook of Health Assessment. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books/about/Nurses_Handbook_of_Health_Assessment.html?id=rdw8U70rpN0C