Family Health Assessment Part I NRS 429

Family Health Assessment Part I NRS 429

Family Health Assessment Part I NRS 429

Include the following in your paper:
1. Describe the family structure. Include individuals and any relevant attributes defning the family
composition, race/ethnicity, social class, spirituality, and environment.
2. Summarize the overall health behaviors of the family. Describe the current health of the family.
3. Based on your fndings, describe at least two of the functional health pattern strengths noted in the
fndings. Discuss three areas in which health problems or barriers to health were identifed.
4. Describe how family systems theory can be applied to solicit changes in family members that, in turn,
initiate positive changes to the overall family functions over time.

Family Health Assessment is crucial in identifying the family’s strength and weakness in terms of access to quality and affordable care. The assessment also provides crucial information to the healthcare practitioners on the threats to achieving comprehensive health and general wellness for the whole population. Furthermore, the family assessment prepares nurses especially the Family Nurse Practitioners with the relevant skills required in the assessment of the family health patterns and be able to offer family-based solutions (Peterson-Burch, 2018). The concept has also proved to be instrumental in advancement of genetic interventions in some of the complex conditions.

Family health assessment involves obtaining a family’s information on the activities or practices they implement to promote health and prevent diseases. The key elements of the family health assessment process are evaluating existing family information, meeting with the family, interviewing family members, performing specialized assessments, and identifying the family needs and circumstances contributing to these needs. Family health assessment also includes making judgments and decisions about necessary services, documenting the information and decision-making with the family, and disseminating the information to the family (Park & Lee, 2020). The purpose of this paper is to analyze the family health assessment findings of a family interviewed in this assignment.

Family Structure

Family Y was interviewed during this assignment.  Family Y is an African-American family living in Maricopa County, AZ. It comprises six family members, Mr.Y (husband and father), Mrs.Y (wife and mother), three daughters, and one son. Mr.Y is 62 years, Mrs. Y is 59 years, and the children are aged 35, 32, 28, and 23 years. The family belongs to the lower-middle class income group with an average annual household income of $95, 000.  Mr. Y is a retired high school teacher and is currently running a restaurant in his neighborhood. On the other hand, Mrs.Y is a clerical officer working in a government office. The firstborn and second born daughters are married and currently do not live with the family. The third born daughter moved out of the family house two years ago after becoming an advocate. The son is a fourth year university student pursuing Engineering and currently lives with the family. Family Y is a protestant family and attends Sunday church services at least twice a month. Furthermore, they live in a suburban estate in Tempe, Maricopa County, AZ with access to social amenities such as healthcare facilities, schools, shopping malls, and transportation.  Every family member has private medical insurance.

Overall Health Behaviors of the Family

Family Y has an overall good health status and has adopted various healthy lifestyle practices to promote health and prevent disease. Mr.Y has positive medical history of controlled Type 2 Diabetes and hypertension, which were diagnosed at 43 years. No other family member has been diagnosed with a chronic illness. Mr.Y adopted several lifestyle practices to prevent the worsening of diabetes and hypertension including cessation to tobacco smoking and alcohol consumption, engaging in regular physical exercises, and limiting consumption of high-caloric foods. Mrs.Y and the children have also adopted some of these lifestyle practices like regular physical exercises and healthy diet since they are aware of the risk of developing lifestyle diseases.

Functional Health Pattern Strengths

The functional health patterns considered as strengths from the family interview are Nutrition and Activity/Exercise. The Nutrition pattern was a strength owing to the adopted healthy eating habits by the family including limited intake of high-caloric foods, processed foods, and carbonated drinks. The family takes regular servings of vegetables and fruits, healthy fats, lean meats, legumes, and nuts. Mr.Y follows the DASH diet to help promote weight loss and control blood pressure (Crone et al., 2021). In addition, the family members consume a minimum off 2l of water per day and have limited alcohol consumption. The family members have no GI issues or discomforts with eating and swallowing and dental problems.

The Activity/Exercise pattern was an area of strength based on the family’s history of engaging in regular physical exercises. The family has subscribed to a local gym and takes part in moderate-high intensity aerobic exercises and muscle strengthening exercises like weight-lifting. In addition, the family engages in regular recreational activities like swimming and hiking, which have significantly improved their fitness levels and cardiovascular endurance (Crone et al., 2021).  The family members have sufficient energy for required activities and the ability to carry out all Activities of daily living (ADLs) with no limitations.

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Health Problems/Barriers

Various health problems and barriers were identified in the functional health patterns of Values/Health Perception, Sleep/Rest, and Coping. Barriers were identified in the Health perception-Health Management pattern since some of the family members did not consistently attend annual well check-ups. They also reported lack of consistency in self-examinations like breast and testicular exams and their immunization was not up-to-date.  Health problems were identified in the Sleep/Rest pattern like dysfunctional sleep patterns and sleep interruptions by nightmares. Mrs.Y reported having sleep disturbances in the past two years and has been prescribed sleeping pills for sleep-onset problems and early awakening. Problems identifies in the Coping pattern include ineffective ways of handling stressful issues by some of the family members. For instance, some family members have compromised coping mechanisms and impaired adjustment to life crisis that result in using stress-relieving drugs.

Application of the Family Systems Theory

The family systems theory (FST) was emanated from Bowen’s study of the family. The theory is a concept that views the family as an emotional unit. FST is a relationship system that a family demonstrates as the interlocking concepts of familial development (Erdem & Safi, 2018). Therefore, FST can be used to promote changes in family members by having the family work together to understand their group dynamic. It can also be used to help the family work better together and identify how one’s behavior affects other family members. The guiding notion is that what happens to one family member happens to all other family members (Bortz et al., 2019). If a family member develops a lifestyle condition, other family members understand that it can also happen to them. Consequently, they engage in the healthy lifestyle practices recommended to the other family member. For instance, other Family Y members engage in regular physical activities and healthy diet similar to Mr.Y since they perceive that they are also at risk of diabetes and hypertension.


The family interviewed in this assignment was family Y, an African-American family belonging to the lower-middle class. Family Y has an overall good practice and has adopted various healthy lifestyle practices. Strengths were noted in the Nutrition-Metabolic and Activity-Exercise patterns. However, health problems and barriers were identified in the Values/Health Perception, Sleep/Rest, and Coping patterns.


Bortz, P., Berrigan, M., VanBergen, A., & Gavazzi, S. M. (2019). Family systems thinking as a guide for theory integration: Conceptual overlaps of differentiation, attachment, parenting style, and identity development in families with adolescents. Journal of Family Theory & Review11(4), 544-560.

Crone, M. R., Slagboom, M. N., Overmars, A., Starken, L., van de Sande, M., Wesdorp, N., & Reis, R. (2021). The Evaluation of a Family-Engagement Approach to Increase Physical Activity, Healthy Nutrition, and Well-Being in Children and Their Parents. Frontiers in public health9, 747725.

Erdem, G., & Safi, O. A. (2018). The cultural lens approach to Bowen family systems theory: Contributions of family change theory. Journal of Family Theory & Review10(2), 469-483.

Park, H., & Lee, K. S. (2020). The association of family structure with health behavior, mental health, and perceived academic achievement among adolescents: a 2018 Korean nationally representative survey. BMC public health20(1), 1-10.


Family Health Assessment

The promotion of family health is imperative in nursing and healthcare practice. The promotion of family health requires the provision of care that prioritizes the actual needs of the family members. Nurses and other healthcare providers work with families in assessing, planning, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating strategies used to achieve their care needs. They also work with the family members in exploring interventions that will promote their health and minimize their exposure to health problems. In doing this, nurses utilize their knowledge and skills on the different health patterns that influence the health and wellbeing of individuals, families, and their communities. Therefore, this paper examines an interview that was conducted with a family to determine their functional health patterns. It also explores the use of family health systems theory to ensure that the needs of the family members are met for their optimal health and wellbeing.

Description of Family Structure

This interview was conducted with a family within my community. The husband of the family was the informant during the interview. The family is an extended family. It has the grandparents, parents, and three children. The ethnic background of the family is African Americans. The family members are Christians. The family rated themselves as a middle class family. The husband of the family works as a driver in a local construction industry while the wife is a nurse. The grandparents are retired nurses. The children are in the junior high school. The family resides in a moderately health environment, as evidenced by the adequate environmental hygiene and access to necessities such as health food and water.

Overall Health Behaviors of the Family

The assessment showed that the family’s health status is moderate, as seen from the various findings of the functional assessment interview. The husband of the family reported that the family practices healthy values. The values included minimizing their engagement in risky and unhealthy behaviors such as smoking and taking alcohol. He also reported that the traditional norms, values and beliefs such as eating healthy diets influence their lifestyle and behavioral decisions. The husband reported that the family members are active users of preventive healthcare services. They utilize services such as screening for hypertension, diabetes, and prostate cancer. The husband reported some health challenges being experienced in the family. They included his father being a diabetic and mother suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

The assessment of nutrition pattern showed that the family had an adequate access to healthy diets. However, they found if expensive to afford healthy diets on a regular basis, which predisposes them to eating unhealthy junk diets in times of financial hardships. The family therefore strives to eat a three-meal balanced diet in a day. The husband also reported that some of his family members experience nutritional related challenges. Accordingly, he noted that his son is currently obese. He is predisposed to health problems such as diabetes and hypertension. The assessment of the sleep/rest pattern showed that the family members sleep an average of 7 hours a night. He reported sleeping problems such as insomnia among his grandparents, which have affected their quality of life. The family reported that they engage minimally in leisure activities due to their busy schedules.

The assessment of the elimination pattern showed that one of the family members suffers from urinary incontinence. The grandfather was recently diagnosed with urinary incontinence and is due for urologist review. The assessment of the activity exercise pattern showed that the family minimally engages in active physical activities. As a result, they are predisposed to obesity and cardiovascular health problems such as hypertension. The assessment of the cognitive pattern showed that the grandmother currently suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. The family understands her health needs and ensures they are met. The husband reported that his grandfather has low vision problem and currently uses corrective lenses. He denied any health issues in the sensory perception pattern.

The assessment of role relationship pattern showed that the family plays an active role in community activities such as assisting the needy. The family also has defined roles such as the husband being the head of the family while wife ensures the needs of the members such as food are met. The husband denied any sexual-related problems in the family. He noted that the family members support the use of contraceptives and screening services for reproductive health problems. The assessment of the coping pattern showed that the family has effective coping strategies for stress. They rely on each other’s support to manager adversities. They also utilize support from friends, relatives and the church to overcome their stressors.

Functional Health Pattern Strengths

One of the functional health pattern strengths that were identified from the interview is the high level of awareness among the family about health promotion and prevention. The husband reported that the family actively utilizes screening services for health problems such as breast cancer, prostate cancer, and hypertension. Screening for health problems enables early identification and management. It also prevents the progression of non-communicable diseases such as cancer and hypertension (Alrushud et al., 2017). The active utilization of screening services by the family promotes their optimum health and wellbeing. The other functional health pattern strength that was identified in the family is their use of effective coping with adversities. The husband reported that the family relies on each other and the community members in coping with stressful experiences. Effective coping is important, as it eliminates adverse events due to maladaptive responses such as depression among family members (Silva et al., 2017).

Problems or Barriers

One of the areas where health problems were identified was the minimal engagement of the family members in active physical activities and leisure. Minimal engagement in active physical activity is a critical predictor of lifestyle and behavioral problems such as obesity and hypertension. Inadequate leisure activities also predispose the family members to poor coping with stress (Magnavita, 2018). The second health problem identified from the interview is poor dietary habits. The husband reported occasional intake of unhealthy diets in the family due to the high cost of healthy diets. As a result, they are predisposed to poor health outcomes such as obesity, malnutrition and overweight (Cherfan et al., 2020). The last health problem identified is high rate of dependence in the family. The other family members are not working apart from the husband and wife. A high rate of dependence has resulted in financial constraints and minimal engagement of the family in healthy habits such as physical activity.

Application of Family Systems Theory

The family systems theory can be applied to solicit changes in family members that can initiate positive changes to the overall family functions. One of the ways is by encouraging them to work together in addressing the health-related needs. Since families are interconnected entities, they can work together in ensuring that the diverse needs of the members can be met. The other way in which the theory can be applied is through health education (Jakimowicz et al., 2021). The family members can be educated on ways of achieving their optimum health and resources that they need.


Overall, family functional assessment is important in nursing. It facilitates the identification of health needs in families and ways of addressing them. Family systems theory can be applied to enhance the realization of the diverse needs of the families. Therefore, nurses should develop competencies on addressing the actual and potential needs of the families they serve in their practice.




Alrushud, A. S., Rushton, A. B., Kanavaki, A. M., & Greig, C. A. (2017). Effect of physical activity and dietary restriction interventions on weight loss and the musculoskeletal function of overweight and obese older adults with knee osteoarthritis: A systematic review and mixed method data synthesis. BMJ Open, 7(6), e014537.

Cherfan, M., Vallée, A., Kab, S., Salameh, P., Goldberg, M., Zins, M., & Blacher, J. (2020). Unhealthy behaviors and risk of uncontrolled hypertension among treated individuals-The CONSTANCES population-based study. Scientific Reports, 10(1), 1925.

Jakimowicz, S., Perry, L., & Lewis, J. (2021). Bowen Family Systems Theory: Mapping a framework to support critical care nurses’ well-being and care quality. Nursing Philosophy, 22(2), e12320.

Magnavita, N. (2018). Obstacles and Future Prospects: Considerations on Health Promotion Activities for Older Workers in Europe. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15(6), 1096.

Silva, N. D., Dillon, F. R., Verdejo, T. R., Sanchez, M., & De La Rosa, M. (2017). Acculturative Stress, Psychological Distress, and Religious Coping Among Latina Young Adult Immigrants. The Counseling Psychologist, 45(2), 213–236.