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Family Health Assessment: Weaknesses and Strengths


Understanding a family’s features is an essential aspect of nursing practice as it helps determine the right approach for intervention. However, the assessment requires data that can be collected through observation or survey. This paper will examine the benefits of interviews to assess the structure, weaknesses, and strengths of family health, as well as possible options for improving it by applying the family system theory.

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Family Structure

Family structure is an important determinant of relations between its members and personality development. The family that conducted a questionnaire consists of a mother, father, and two preschool children, which is an example of a traditional nuclear family (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2017). An extended family also includes grandparents and siblings of the mother, whom she considers the closest people. All members of the nuclear and extended family refer themselves to Christians, and although they share and support the values ​​of this religion, its rites do not occupy a central place in the family’s life. The language of communication is English, and the cultural customs are American. The family has a close, loving relationship, and although the mother spends more time with the children, the father is also care and communicates with them. The family is also involved in community activity and has a high social status.

Family Health and Health Behavior

The questionnaire shows that the customs and behavior of family members contribute to their well-being. Stanhope and Lancaster (2017) give features that characterize a healthy family, and the relationship between father and mother coincides in all these aspects. For example, both parents also care and communicate with their children and spend their leisure time together. The important point is that grandparents also look after children, which gives spouses time to spend a pleasant time privately. All these aspects demonstrate that the emotional health of the family is at a high level and is supported by its members. In addition, parents also care about the physical health of each other and children as they mostly eat healthy homemade food, prefer active rest, keep sleep patterns, and also take vitamins. Thus, the questionnaire demonstrates that the family has habits that support its mental and physical health.

Functional Health Pattern Strength

The family has several functional health pattern strengths, the main of which is a healthy diet and vitamins, as well as a high level of communication and mutual assistance. The effect of the first strength has been studied by many nutritionists and therapists and has obvious effects on family health. According to the questionnaire, food is most often planned and prepared for the husband and son, so that they contain vegetables and fruits. Vitamin intake is a good habit, especially vitamin D that children and adults do not have enough due to the weather in Oregon. However, the father does not receive additional vitamins, although they can be necessary for him by considering his working schedule.

The other strength of the family is mutual support and distribution of responsibilities. Both parents work and share their duties, which takes away some of the household chores from the mother. In addition, members of an extended family help to cope with stress and maintain emotional health. At the same time, the family is competitive, which is a manifestation of differentiation of self and reduces the negative impact of family members on each other (Keller & Noone, 2019). Although the children are still very young, they also copy such a relationship pattern that, in the future, will help them also cope with stress in their families (Bridge, 2019). Thus, family relationship patterns are also a strength for its members.

Functional Health Problems

The questionnaire showed that the family has practically no current health problems, but some health patterns demonstrate possibilities of disease development in the future. One of the most serious issues can be problems with short-term memory in the father. This problem can indicate a lowered attention span or memory troubles that can develop into more serious illnesses in the elderly, such as sclerosis, dementia, or Alzheimer’s disease. Although the episodes are not permanent, the family should pay attention to this problem.

Another bad habit that can negatively affect health is the rare urination of the mother. Shannon, Tjaden, Adams, Brubaker, and Brincat (2018) studied nurses’ and behavior note that prolonged urine retention is detrimental to bladder health and can cause infections and diseases. In addition, the mother does not check her and her son’s vision regularly; consequently, the family can miss vision problems in the early stages of development, which prevents their timely and effective treatment. Therefore, despite the absence of severe health problems, the family needs to apply measures to avoid them.

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Application of Family System Theory

Family patterns indicate that preventive measures should be the main focus of nursing to improve health. The family system theory says that family members are interdependent and interacting elements that affect each other’s behavior and health (Keller & Noone, 2019). Differentiation of self by each family member is a central element of their interaction since high a level of interdependence reduces the ability to cope with stress (Bridge, 2019). The questionnaire showed that the family has a close relationship; however, its members have their own opinions and differentiation of self. At the same time, the mother is the most influential in the family as she copes with stress better and helps other family members in this. The answers to the questionnaire do not demonstrate conflicts or misunderstandings between partners or parents and children. Consequently, the family does not have an emotional cutoff or nuclear family emotional processes (Bridge, 2019). Therefore, the relationship in the family help to influence its health through the authority of the mother.

A possible way to improve health is to turn the attention of the mother to preventive measures. Firstly, regular vision examination and checking for memory problems of her husband. The mother should also change her habit and urinate more often. Since decisions in families are made on an equal basis, and the wife also has a nurse education, her arguments are more compelling, and the husband will begin to be more attentive to his health. Consequently, these simple measures, together with current patterns of behavior, contribute to improving family health.


The questionnaire is a convenient and effective way to identify the structure and patterns of behavior in the family to find ways of improving its health. In this case, the family has good emotional and physical health and the patterns that contribute to it. However, some problems indicate the possible development of diseases; therefore, the best method to improve health is to introduce preventive methods by using close relationships of members and the mother’s influence in the family.


Bridge, E.N. (2019). Review of a case study in light of Bowen theory: Differentiation of self. Life Skills Journal of Psychology, 3(5), 65-72.

Keller, M. N., & Noone, R. J. (2019). Handbook of Bowen family systems theory and research methods: A systems model for family research. New York, NY: Routledge.

Shannon, M. B., Tjaden, A., Adams, W., Brubaker, L., & Brincat, C. (2018). Toileting habits of nurses. Urologic Nursing, 38(2), 73-79.

Stanhope, M., & Lancaster, J. (2017). Foundations for population health in community/public health nursing – E-book (5th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Health Sciences.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, March 27). Family Health Assessment: Weaknesses and Strengths. Retrieved from


StudyCorgi. (2022, March 27). Family Health Assessment: Weaknesses and Strengths.

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