A family health assessment helps identify family and nursing diagnoses and develop nursing interventions. In this paper, a health assessment will be performed on a nuclear Caucasian family, the Johnsons, using open-ended questions touching on 11 functional health domains related to the family. The paper also includes a summary of the major findings and wellness and family nursing diagnoses for each domain based on client (family members) interview data.
Values, Health Perception
- What social/cultural values do you regard highly as a family?
- Is there a history of chronic disease or any health issues in the family?
- Does any family member have a health problem for which he/she is taking prescription/nonprescription drugs?
- Do you consume a healthy/balanced diet?
- Does your diet contain nutritional supplements or vitamins?
- Is obtaining healthy nutrition a problem for the family?
- How long do you spend sleeping daily?
- Do you have insomnia or an abnormal sleeping pattern?
- How would you describe the coziness of your bed?
- Do you experience continence in bowel movement?
- How often do you have constipation or diarrhea?
- Do you experience any difficulty voiding your bladder?
- Do you engage in regular physical exercises?
- What sort of daily tasks do you normally perform in your work and at home?
- Do you consider yourself physically fit?
- How would you score on an IQ test?
- Do you experience any concentration or recall difficulties?
- How often do you engage in cognitive tasks or challenges?
- Do you have vision impairments?
- Do you have any hearing difficulties?
- Do you regard your sensory organs fully functional?
- What values do you regard highly as an individual?
- Do you experience anxiety, despair, or depression?
- Do you consider yourself an optimist?
- What is your employment status?
- Are the children biological or adopted?
- How would you describe your relationship with friends?
- Do you talk about sexuality with your children?
- Would you consider yourself sexually active?
- Have you ever contracted any sexually transmitted infection?
- How do you cope with stress?
- How do you resolve family disputes or disagreements?
- Do you take alcohol or drugs to help you feel relaxed?
Summary of the Findings
Values, Health Perception
The health assessment evaluated the Johnsons family’s health patterns based on the qualitative data collected. On the health values and perception question, the family perceives drinking and smoking as unhealthy habits. The father and mother neither smoke nor drink. There is no family history of conditions such as diabetes and cancer. The couple’s three children, aged nine, six, and two, have received all vaccinations.
The family indicated that they consume a balanced diet with each of their three daily meals containing proteins and vitamin supplements but low-calorie content. Zarzycka and Gorajek-Jozwik (2004) aver that a subpar calorie or fluid intake can cause fatigue and weight loss. The family members follow the recommended caloric and fluid intake in their diet. On a normal weekday, the children eat packed lunch at school but consume home-cooked supper at least twice on average. The family indicated that obtaining healthy nutrition is not a problem.
The children and parents sleep for a minimum of eight hours daily. No one indicated that he or she experiences insomnia or an abnormal sleeping pattern at night. The sleeping area was considered cozy and comfortable.
The family did not report any problem with bowel movements or bladder voiding. Only a few visits to the family doctor due to diarrhea have been made. No family member has ever experienced an incident of constipation.
Adults engaged in a routine workout in their home gym at least thrice a week. The two older children played sports in school. The father is a construction engineer and works in physically demanding projects. The mother works as a salesperson of technology products. Her daily tasks involve traveling and marketing products to clients. The parents do household tasks with the help of their older children. They consider themselves physically fit.
The cognitive pattern assessment indicates that the parents and children pay regular visits to the family doctor for dental checkups and medical examinations. They also visit the physician’s office when displaying symptoms like fever. The children have received all immunizations, including influenza vaccine.
All the family members indicated that they have no sensory impairments. They had no vision or hearing deficits due to an infection or injury. None of the family members was using hearing devices or eyeglasses.
The data on self-perception showed that the Johnsons value education and maintaining healthy social relationships. Parental involvement in the children’s extra-curricular activities and learning is high. However, the mother feels that juggling between her work and children is physically demanding. She feels she could find more time to spend with her children. None of the family members indicated that he/she suffers anxiety, despair, or depression. Furthermore, they indicated being optimistic and happy as a family. They consider themselves healthy as they rarely eat out.
Both parents are working and share family responsibilities. They indicated that they have three children together – a boy and two younger daughters. Overall, the family keeps healthy relationships with friends, relatives, and neighbors. The father works overtime, which means that the mother does most of the parenting.
The parents indicate that they do not discuss sexual matters with their children because they consider them young and not ready. They note that the sex education taught in school is sufficient. The parents are sexually active and neither has ever contracted an STI.
The parents cope with work-related stress by going on family vacations. They also share with grandparents and friends and rely on their religious beliefs to overcome difficult times. Sibling disagreements are resolved through parental intervention. Both parents do not drink or take drugs to ease stress.
Wellness Nursing Diagnoses
A wellness nursing diagnosis indicates the potential health problems a family may face based on a family health assessment (Weber, 2005). The assessment revealed three ‘wellness nursing’ diagnoses.
Potential to promote “proper nutrition and metabolic patterns”
The assessment revealed that the family promotes proper nutrition and eating patterns (Weber, 2005). An analysis of the meals consumed has the essential nutrient content, including vitamins, proteins, and carbohydrates (Stammler & Yiu, 2008). The family takes a well-balanced diet and the recommended daily calorie intake. Neither of the parents engages in unhealthy behaviors such as drinking or smoking. Besides nutrition, the family exercises at least three times a week in the home gym to help them stay healthy and physically fit. The children participate in school games, which increase their metabolic rates, enhancing their physical fitness.
Potential to improve social relationships
The family members indicated that they have healthy social relationships. Cohesion within the family is high because the parents spend a fair amount of time with the children. In this regard, the family members can share thoughts and support one another, indicating close interactions among them (Doenges & Moorhouse, 2003). However, work commitments limit the amount of time spent together. The parents, especially the mother, display a strong dedication to the parenting role. The mother is overwhelmed with household chores as the father works overtime. This scenario could potentially affect her emotional and physical wellbeing as well as family relationships.
Potential to improve health-seeking behaviors
The assessment revealed that the Johnsons have no family history of chronic conditions. The family members do not engage in behaviors considered risky for human health, including alcohol intake and tobacco smoking (Stolte, 2006). Both parents indicated that they have never engaged in smoking or drug/alcohol use in their lives. Thus, the family has cultivated health-seeking behaviors and attitudes to lower the risk of lifestyle diseases. Additionally, none of the family members has ever contracted an STI, sustained an injury, or suffered a sensory impairment sense due to trauma. Thus, family members avoid risks and behaviors that may hamper their health outcomes.
Doenges, M. & Moorhouse, F. (2003). Application of Nursing Process and Nursing Diagnosis: An Interactive Text for Diagnostic Reasoning. Philadelphia: F. A. Davis Company.
Stammler, L. & Yiu, L. (2008). Community Health Nursing: A Canadian Perspective. Toronto: Pearson.
Stolte, K.M. (2006). Wellness: Nursing Diagnosis for Health Promotion. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott.
Weber, J.R. (2005). Nurses Handbook of Health Assessment. Philadelphia. Lippincot Williams and Willis.
Zarzycka, D. & Gorajek-Jozwik, J. (2004). Nursing Diagnosis with the ICNP in the Teaching Context. International Nursing Review 51(4), 240–249.