Assessment is referred to as a collection of data about the state of health at the individual or family level. It is a general opinion that modern families experience constant stresses in their everyday living, which makes it difficult for them to participate in healthy activities. An unhealthy way of life may cause such chronic diseases as hypertension and diabetes. It is noted that “prioritizing prevention within the context of primary care is a key tenet of the Affordable Care Act and is central to the adoption of a patient-centered medical home model” (Rodriguez et al., 2014, p. 356). Thus, it is crucial to conduct a proper family assessment to identify the key health problems in a certain family and develop proper interventions. For this paper, one family was selected for the interview. A set of questions related to the basic health patterns was developed to evaluate the health status of the family.
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Summary of Health Patterns Assessment
The family that was selected for the assessment is a Caucasian one with Irish-American parents and two children. The father is a foreman at a still mill, and the mother is a manager in the shopping center. Their children are two boys, aged 12 and 16. The mother was the main source of the information about this family, and the replies to the interview questions were given from her standpoint.
Health perception and values in this family can be described as ordinary. The family members do not suffer from any chronic diseases. It is noted that health assessment should include relevant physical evaluation and a family health history (Forbes & Watt, 2015). Thus, the father in this family is a heavy smoker, and this bad habit concerns his wife as he has a bad influence on his sons who might follow his example. Some researchers state that “the USPHS Guideline concluded that the provision of both medication support and counseling by physicians can increase the probability of quitting by 30% compared to medication alone” (Kruger, O’Halloran, & Rosenthal, 2015, p. 7). Both parents spend a lot of time at work and have to sacrifice some healthy habits to provide themselves and their children a high-level living conditions of life. All family members have insurance and regularly visit their doctor for preventive care and occasional illness treatment.
The dietary habits in the family are far from perfect. They consume a lot of fast-food meals and snacks while a normal meal occurs only late in the evening. The mother suffers from overweight as she does not have much time for exercise. The father likes playing tennis, and the boys like swimming.
The adult members of the family usually have about five or six hours of night sleep while children have about eight hours. The parents sometimes have sleeping problems because of stress at work and have to take sleeping pills to have a night rest. The boys do not have any sleeping problems and seem to be satisfied with the quantity and quality of their night rest.
The elimination habits of the family cannot be described accurately as the interviewee can describe only her experience. Still, other family members never reported any complaints about bowel movements and stool and urine disorders. The mother does not report any complaints as well.
The family tries to spend a lot of time outdoors at weekends. They enjoy camping and are regular visitors to the country club. Still, the mother does not seem to enjoy physical activity as much as the other family members. She prefers indoor activities such as watching TV and going to the movie theater.
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Cognitive functions of the family members are within the norm. The mother cannot report any cases of depression or suicides in the family history. Both parents studied well at school and received proper education to obtain their current professions. The boys have some problems with studying, but the mother insists that the main cause of their bad grades is laziness.
The sensory and perception systems of the family members also seem to function normally. Still, the mother reports to have bad sight and has to wear glasses when reading and watching TV. This family is stated to have a low level of response to pain.
The mother confirms that she has a low rate of her body image and comfort, especially when she goes out with her family. Her self-esteem is rather low, and she confirms that it is because of her overweight problem. She says that she will work on it in the future and find some time for physical activities.
The family experience a warm relationship and strong support from relatives. The mother insists that she never has quarreled with her husband. Still, sometimes boys have little fights, especially when the elder one begins to mock at his brother. The age gap between them is too big at present, and they cannot be friends.
The mother reports that she has no problems with sexual functioning. Still, sometimes she has a low sex drive because of work stress, tiredness, and lack of time. Her husband is her only sexual partner, and she never had another one because she married him in her youth. The mother reports that her elder son might have some sexual life as he has a girlfriend at present.
The family is believed to have high abilities to handle stress. They support each other and have family counsels to manage and control stressful situations that involve all the members. Nevertheless, most of the stress comes only because of work problems.
Health problems are closely related to the lifestyle experienced by a certain family. It is emphasized that “a substantial burden of unhealthy behaviors leads to chronic diseases and mental health disorders among patients seen in primary care settings” (Krist et al., 2014, p. 525). The family health assessment made it possible to identify two main wellness problems.
The first problem is tobacco use by the father. It affects the environment of the family’s home as tobacco smoke is dangerous both for the lungs of the smoker and of those who are close to him. The father seems not to understand fully the consequences of his bad habit and the way it might impact his sons.
The second problem is the inappropriate selection of food in the family. Fast food seems to be the main course of their everyday menu, which caused the mother’s overweight problems. Still, she does not fully realize it and believes that physical exercises will solve the problem without any further correction of nutrition.
The given paper dealt with a family health assessment. For this purpose, a Caucasian family with two children was selected. The assessment revealed the problems in nutrition and tobacco addiction in the given family, which should be eliminated to improve health behavior and life quality.
Forbes, H., & Watt, E. (2015). Jarvis’s physical examination and health assessment (2nd ed.). Sydney, Australia: Elsevier Health Sciences.
Krist, A. H., Phillips, S. M., Sabo, R. T., Balasubramanian, B. A., Heurtin-Roberts, S., Ory, M. G.,… Glasgow, R. E. (2014). Adoption, reach, implementation, and maintenance of a behavioral and mental health assessment in primary care. The Annals of Family Medicine, 12(6), 525-533.
Kruger, J., O’Halloran, A., & Rosenthal, A. (2015). Assessment of compliance with US Public Health Service clinical practice guideline for tobacco by primary care physicians. Harm Reduction Journal, 12(1), 7.
Rodriguez, H. P., Glenn, B. A., Olmos, T. T., Krist, A. H., Shimada, S. L., Kessler, R.,… Bastani, R. (2014). Real-world implementation and outcomes of health behavior and mental health assessment. The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, 27(3), 356-366.