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Family Health Assessment

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Family health assessment in an important factor and a crucial tool that helps the family be aware of any problems concerning the planning of health care and necessary care provision. Nurses play an important role in determining the health of a family with the use of the 11 Gordon’s functional health patterns. The use of open ended questions enables the nurses to determine the present and past health state of a family. The Gordon’s functional health patterns are described as the core foundations for the diagnosis of the health of a family (Edelman & Mandle, 2009).  With a consideration given to Gordon’s functional health patterns, the paper will summarize the data drawn from each of the patterns and illustrate a wellness status of the family. Marjorie Gordon developed the system of health patterns to help nurses in approaching and making diagnosis concerning the health of an individual as well as that of a given family (Gordon, 1994). The family chosen in this assessment is a nuclear family, the father of which is 45 years old and the mother is 39 years old. They have been married for 19 years. They have two children aged 16 and 11. The family bears the opinion that good health is when a person is capable of going about their normal duties without any hindrances of the functions of their bodies.

Values, Health Perception

The family is keen on maintaining overall good health in their family. They each have regular medical check-ups in every 6-8 months and the vaccinations for the children are kept up to date.  None of the parents smoke or use any alcohol. Here have been no serious illness in the family and all its members are in good physical condition. They maintain a regular work-out routine for the members of the family that include jogging and walking. The parents have gym membership that they use frequently. The family is not deeply religious but they do attend a local community church.Wellness diagnosis states that they are involved in healthy regimes and have no risk of acquiring any lifestyle diseases.


The family members are not allergic to any type of food. Typically, they will have three meals a day and are conscious of their caloric intake. Due to the fact that parents work and the children attend school, they ensure that they sit together every other day and share meals together. The parents instill the importance of hard work, humility and charity to their children as they grow up. Wellness diagnosis is that they are in the practice of beneficial therapeutic routines.


The parents described their sleeping patterns as normal. The entire household is awake at 5.30 am and the last person gets asleep at 11 pm. The children are sent to bed earlier due to their school activities. The parents do not use any enhancers to induce sleep. Wellness diagnosis is that they are not at risk of sleep disorders, such as deprivation or sleep pattern disorder.


The mother has had urinary tract infection and had it cleared up. None of the family members have experienced any skin conditions. They all describe their bowel movements as normal, with no digestive system disorders. Wellness diagnosis is that there is risk of hampered urinary activity.


They keep the clean environment inside and outside the home. The parents attend a gym two times a week and the frequency may increase, depending on how busy their week is. They will also go for walks with their children during the weekends in an effort to bond with one another, as well as attend bowling sessions where they participate as a team for a charity game every other month. The oldest of the children is on the soccer team at school and the other is more involved in her academic achievements. Wellness diagnosis is that a proper home management system is characterized by a well-developed activity pattern, well-formed cardio and muscle activities.


Both parents have college degrees and the mother is in the process of getting her master’s degree.Three of the family members are vision impaired and they wear glasses to correct this. They describe their hearing as good and they are of sound mind. The younger child has a show to be academically gifted, but she is not keen on extra-curricular activities and the parents try and rectify this by having a family day out in a bid to ensure their children are well-rounded. Wellness and nursing diagnosis is that the the family is characterized by the enhanced cognitive thought process and undergo a risk of impaired sight process.

Sensory-Perception, Self-Perception

The mother describes herself as the one who had a low self-esteem while growing up but managed to overcome it. The father is considering laser surgery to correct his vision as he is tired of wearing glasses. The family describes themselves as generally cheerful, but the mother says she is very emotional and is easily offended. None of the family members experience any acute pains or are under medication for it. Wellness diagnosis is that there is a cause for physical image alteration and the risk of circumstantial decline of the self-esteem.

Role Relationship

The family lives together and this is a first marriage for the father, but a second for the mother though she did not have any children prior to those born in this marriage. The father has a special needs brother, who lives close by. They frequently check in on him often having him over for meals and family times. None of the children have posed any serious problems except for the ‘normal’ teen rebellion phases. All members value their family above anyone else. The parents are self-employed and have a staff working for them. They are volunteers. The father describes his father as a person he looks up to and seeks consultations when his wife is unable to help him. Wellness diagnosis is that the family is readily equipped for their various roles. The nursing diagnosis is that there is a risk of strain in the job role.

Sexuality (if there is appropriate age and/or situation)

Both parents are satisfied with their sexual life and do not have any problems. They will have screenings for STDs as part of their medical check up. They do no use contraceptives since at the moment they are planning to have another child. None of the children are sexually active. The mother has had regular 29 day cycles of her menstruation period. The daughter has not had her period yet. The level of wellness shows their readiness for effective sexual patterns. Diagnosis is that there is no risk of sexual dysfunction or transmission of diseases.


The parents who run a business together rely on their staff to help them effectively run their business. They each have their own methods of reliving stress. The father goes out with his friends and watches sports. The mother says she is engaged in relaxing activities, such as yoga and meditation to calm her down. None of the family members suffer from anxiety issues and none of them will use medication to relieve stress. The father says he is not comfortable delegating duties, but he seeks consultation. The children listen to music, talk to their friends to rely on them in the tough situations. In more serious situations they talk to their parents in an effort to find the best solution to tackle the issue. Wellness is that family has the ability to cope with stressful situations. They are not at risk of harmful tendencies or use of harmful aids to help to relieve stress.


Many in the medical field will agree that having an interview with an individual or a family can bring into light more serious revelations of their overall physical history than any results that an exam could give (Rich, 1987). Not only does it save time on diagnosis, but it will direct the physicians in their attempts to make a diagnosis. Gordon’s functional health pattern provides a subtle way in which the nurse is able to derive the individual(s) medical history without probing their lives. It gives a direction for both the nurse and the patient (Reiser, 1980). The open ended questions ensure that the patient is not limited to a certain answer, but is able to give any information that will help determine a diagnosis. The nurse while asking the question should give the individual the ample time to respond and are not to interrupt them as this distortion in the flow of information may hide some vital information (Beckman, 1984).

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