Family Health Assessment

Family Health Assessment


Family health assessment is a useful tool employed in nursing processes to establish health care plans for both an individual and the family. Edelman & Mandle, (2010) explains that a comprehensive evaluation is the framework of promoting family well being (p. 175). This paper is out to assess a specific family’s views and perceptions concerning their health. The author employs various questions that are family oriented to address the 11 patterns of health as explained by Gordon, (2010) in Functional Health.

This paper presents the findings from an interview of Maryland family for the purpose of nursing diagnosis and wellness. The author evaluated the family’s habits and descriptions are evaluated for nursing diagnosis and wellness. Although the family in this case is noted to be highly functional, there are serious health diagnoses that need to be intervened.

Family Overview

The family who took part in this assessment is from Maryland State in United States. The husband is 45 years while the wife is 38 years. The couple has been married for the last 20 years with three children. The older one who is a son is 14 years followed by daughter, 11 years and the last-born son who is barely three months of age. The   older son is in high school while the daughter attends the nearby elementary school. While in school or any other place, the parents maintain a close tie with their children to ascertain their safety and well-being.


a)Health Assessment

During the assessment, it was noted that the parents did not have a habit of smoking, drinking or abusing drugs. However, the children were found to be obese, probably due to poor eating habits. On the other hand, the father had peripheral vascular ailment and was subjected to working extra time to meet the family’s needs. This was partly because the mother had a young child, which she had to attend to, and therefore, could not work.

There were some elements in the physical phenomena such as nutrition, health perception, exercise/activity, nutrition and sleep that were found among members of this family. However, elimination pattern was not considered part of the family. Psychological areas such as sensory perception, cognitive, self-perception, role relationship and coping were highly functional in all the family members with the exception of the father. With regard to sexuality, the parents were noted to be active and had no any health history related to their sexuality.

Family members in this assessment were found to be closely tied. They have a lot to share especially on the aspect of affection and positive aspects with each other. In spite of the family encountering economic huddles, they functionally relate to each other well as a family unity. In the course of the interview, the mother explained that according to her, the family’s source of strength lie on the physical activities and as well as their spirituality. They were regular and active members of the Catholic Church. What is interesting is that they are all performers and dancers. The members expressed that these activities alongside other church related ones, helped them to suppress any stress or distress, which they encountered.

In my assessment of this family, I noted that family members did not take food that had balanced nutrition. Children who had high appetitive were fond of taking foods rich on fats. The mother is the only one who took balanced meal probably because she had a three-month-old baby whom she was breastfeeding. It was also noted that both the father and mother failed to have a sound sleep since the mother used to wake up regularly to breastfeed the son. In addition, all the family members also used to watch television programs late into the night, thus the reason why they did not have enough sleep.

In most times, children were forced to abandon their televisions programs in order to sleep. They could take up to four hours in watching television programs and soap operas. These made these children to look fatigued in morning hours even before attending their schools. In spite of breast-feeding being acknowledged as essential to young children, it does not meet all the nutritional needs of the child. This means that mother’s reliance on breast milk for her newborn may be generating a risk of lack of nutritional balance to these children. What is conspicuous with regard to the nutritional aspects for this family is that it is not getting what it takes with regard to balanced diet. This is exhibited by poor eating habits depicted by fatty foods among the children and reliance of breast milk for the baby. In addition, disturbance of sleep to the family members is quit risk to the general well fare and cognitive ability of the family members. It is high time the family sought counseling from relevance health practitioners on how to deal with such issues before they generate more health risk to the family.

  1. b) Family Nursing Diagnosis

Performing a family assessment is a demanding but significant step in the care of patient. It is crucial to recognize the issues and circumstances that hinder a particular family from practicing sound health behaviors that could enhance their health both at the community and at home level(US Department of Health and Human Services, 2013). The two family nursing diagnoses that were deemed appropriate with regard to this family are poor nutrition as noted by reliance on fatty foods that have led to the children being obese and lack of enough sleep for all the family members. These were most notable and needs serious medical intervention.


Open Minded Questions for Functional Health Patterns

  1. Health Perception
  2. a) Past Health history:

Illnesses: ____ peripheral vascular   disease, obesity_____

Surgery: ____________x_______________________________________

History of chronic disease____yes______________________________________

Immunization History: ____ Tetanus_x_____


Influenza_x___ MMR__x____

Polio ___x___

Hepatitis B __x_



  1. b) Use of Tobacco: ____ none x-Quit (date_____<1ppd____1-2ppd___ >2pks/day ___Pks/yr


Alcohol: Amount/type_______x____________________

Frequency of use ____n/a________________________

Other drugs: Amount/Type: _____x_________________


  1. c) Family’s perception of health: ______good____ fair___x_____poor





  1. A) Diet Type and or Restrictions: ____ Regular____Lo Salt____Diabetic__ Fatty___x________Other Supplements_



_b)Ht.____Wt.__x_____________________Weight  increase  per three months especially in children.


  1. c) Appetite____Normal___Increased_x__Decreased___Decreased taste___Food intolerance:__





  1. Bowel Habits :______Most of the family  members reported consistency of constipation  and stomach problems ___________________________________________________

(b). Abdomen: symmetry_____ flat_____ rounded_______ obese _x_______

the children had obese abdomen

c)Type of Ostomy: self care____x_____ Appliance ______



a)Gait type: normal______abnormaI______x______________

  1. b) Disabilities_____no __x____yes:_
  2. c) Pulse:_____regular _x___irregular______strong _____weak



a)normal Habits on sleep: ____3_hours per night

  1. b) Techniques of promoting sleep- bathing_______, reading,_________ tv___x_____, music, __medication _________




  1. Consciousness: level: alert__x_ lethargic___ stuporous______comatose
  2. Mood level: euphoric __x_pleasant___irritable___calm___happy____
  3. Pain: ­­­­­­___no one currently experiences pain in the family _____________







a)appearance:___ withdrawn______calm_x___anxious____irritable_____ restless


b)Anxiety Level : _______to some extent ______________________

c)Self perception_______________- _____ positive ______neutral ___x____somehow negative




  1. Does the family relate with each other __________ Yes____x_________No

b)Support System:  Husband _____x_ Both Parents neighbors/friends________none

c)Family: Interaction:  close tie


  2. a) sexual concerns________none ________
  3. b) History of sexual transmitted diseases in the family ___ none ________
  4. c) Use of contraception Yes_____x___ No_______

Husband ______ Wife___x______



  1. Basic ways of dealing with stress: ___ dancing, acting   and performing, invovelement in  religious activities ______________
  2. Illness and Health Concerns: husband  is suffering from peripheral condition  and children  have obesity problems__________________
  3. Stress oversight: There is stress oversight especially in the parents as depicted by the anxiety  on how to meet all their basic needs plus the children’s needs






a)Religious affliation : Catholic __x___Protestant ____Catholic ___ Je

wish __ Buddhist ______Muslim ___ ___None __


b)Existence of concerning on the capability to practice  their religious activities:____yes __________No__________x___


c)Religious Restrictions_____Not to eat meat during lent period_____________________




Edelman, C., & Mandle, C. (2010). Health promotion throughout the lifespan. (7th ed.). St.

Louis: Mosby. ISBN 978-0-3230-5662-5

Gordon, M. (2010). Nursing Diagnosis: Process and application.Third Edition. St. Louis:

Mosby, 1994.

US Department of Health and Human Services, (2013). Comprehensive Family Assessment..

            Available from


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