Nursing Homework Paper on Family Health Assessment

Family Health Assessment


A family health assessment is quite essential in creating a foundation to enhance family health and to establish the features of health in relation to human function. Knowing the health situation of the patient’s family is the first step in providing effective treatment plans. Family structures are essential in determining the outcomes of patients. Healthy families adapt their structures according to the changing needs of their members while others remain rigid under stress (Mitrani, et al., 2005, p. 445). This study will focus on analyzing the health assessment questionnaire, in which an interview was carried out in Steven Hanks’ family on eleven aspects of health patterns. The study will also cover on theoretical perspective of family health assessment.

Summation of Family Health Assessment

The family health assessment questionnaire was conducted for the family of Steven Hank, a nuclear family consisting of the father, 45, mother, 41, daughter, 17, and son, 14. They all live in one house; thus, have numerous things to share. Hanks’ family values highly the health of each member because a healthy family is always happy, and encourages mental growth. Children may understand fully the value of health, but parents are trying to teach them on the importance of maintaining good health. The family maintains its health through taking health foods, which incorporate all nutrients. The family also consults a nutritionist on matters concerning a balanced diet, in addition to paying a visit to health specialists twice a year.

Hank’s family takes bread and fried eggs in the morning, in addition to a fruit, or fruit juice. Since everyone is usually out during lunchtime, everyone is allowed to take his favorite food at this time. Dinnertime is a special time for everyone, after a day’s work. In many occasions, the dinner incorporates fried beef, a share of green vegetables, and rice. On top of this, fruit juice, or hot milk is also served. The family head usually takes a glass of wine, which, he said, assists in digestion of food. Sometimes, scones and juices from MacDonalds are served during the weekends, when everyone is at home. According to the latest report from the health specialist, none of the family members is overweight, as the family usually observes rules on healthy eating.

Due to his busy schedule, the husband only sleeps for five hours while the wife and children sleep for seven to eight hours. No one in the family complains of insomnia, or having to struggle in order to sleep. Even at the time of waking up, all members claimed that they felt relaxed, and ready to kick off the day. Both parents stated that they usually visit the toilet more than five times for urination, and an average of two times for bowel elimination. Both son and daughter did not have the exact number, but they admitted that they take a lot of water and juices daily, thus, stating the exact number was quite hard for them. According to the physician’s advice, four to six times is quite normal, thus, the family can consider itself on the right track in this section.

Although the family has a gym that is a partially equipped, family members do not participate together in exercises, as each member has his/her own schedule. Hanks prefer to do some press-ups and weight lifting before leaving for work. The mother does not participate in exercise, but in few occasions, children join their father in the morning for simple exercises such as sit-ups and peddling. The father is a former soccer player, thus, is a fan of soccer while mum is a fan of athletics. Just like the father, the son loves soccer, whereas the daughter is a big fan of basketball.

All members in Hanks’ family seemed to have no difficulties in remembering things, such as their birthdays, as well as upcoming holidays. Both parents prefer listening and writing in learning while children fancied a mixture of visual and audio teaching. They like it when their parents show them how to undertake activities rather than just receiving instructions. To ensure that no one has a problem in reading, the family usually goes for eye tests once in a year. No one in the family wears spectacles while reading. Everybody in the family prefers fruits that have sweet taste, but the son would not mind taking fresh lemons, as well as avocados. Both parents are usually annoyed by loud music, and would prefer low music sound, or no sound at all. Both son and daughter love listening to music, hence will not mind loud music. When kids break glasses, they often panic until they are assured that nothing will happen to them. Both parents claimed to feel bad when they see a family member breaking a glass or other utensils.

Everyone feels discouraged after failing to achieve something important. However, not everyone has the capacity to control temper. Only the son claimed not to ask for help when he failed to accomplish a task as he is introverted. The father is the main provider in the family while the mother assists in instilling discipline in the children. Since the son and daughter are old enough to undertake responsibilities, they usually assist in house chores. It is the role of the father to ensure that nobody in the family is ill. He has ensured that everyone has health insurance cover. Both parents contribute voluntarily in helping the needy in the community. Children also participate in institutions’ clubs that assist in communal activities.

Both parents have claimed that their sexual relationship is quite satisfying and have opted to maintain the status quo. They use contraceptives and condoms in family planning, since they have few side effects. They also claimed to have begun teaching their children on sexual matters even before they were in Grade 3. Since both parents are Christians, they turn to prayers when they are stressed. Children will isolate themselves for a while, until the stressful situation cools down. Both parents consult a counselor in case of any misunderstandings between them while children turn to their uncles and aunts for help. Parents opt to discipline their children, rather than punishing them of their misbehaviors.

Wellness Nursing Diagnosis

Wellness nursing diagnosis usually focuses on how the patient progresses in achieving health behaviors. This type of diagnosis indicates the ability to progress to the optimum level of health, or even better. In Hanks’ family,

  1. The parents were teaching their children on observing good health behavior through taking balanced diet, and avoiding unhealthy diet.
  2. The presence of a gym in the house was an illustration that the family had invested on self-care activities. Exercises are vital in maintaining good health.
  3. The family was also working on methods of enhancing their sleep without taking sleep-enhancing pills. They ensure that everybody is asleep by midnight so that they can wake up feeling energetic in the morning.

Theoretical Perspective of Family Health Assessment

Nursing professionals have recognized that families are complex entities, where multiple processes happen simultaneously. They utilize theories and models to enhance clients’ care and outcomes. In nursing process, theories assist in organizing, as well as classifying patient information. This information is then analyzed and interpreted according to the patients’ health situations. Numerous theoretical perspectives exist to guide the nursing process on the assessment of the family. These include family social science theories, nursing models, and family therapy theories.

The most helpful and effective theoretical approaches that nursing professionals can rely on are family social science theories, since they inform nursing process on family phenomena, such as family functions, interactions, transformations, and reactions to health and illnesses (Kaakinen et al., 2010, p. 66). Family social science theories incorporate several theories that are usually abstract in nature. The structural functional theory perceives the family as an institution that purpose to maintain the social network of the family. Symbolic interaction theory emphasizes on symbolic communication and interactions with other families. Family systems theory works to enhance interactions among family members in a system, and may lead to functional or dysfunctional outcomes.

Other theories include the family stress theory, which focuses on analyzing family experience in coping with stressful life events ((Kaakinen et al., 2010, p. 67). Change theory explains what happens when there is a change in the family structure, or an external influence. The transition theory predicts how families change over time through their life cycle and change of roles. Thus, family social science theories have the capacity to express how clients live with the family structure. The most important part is the theoretical concept, which enables the nursing professionals to formulate diagnoses.

Using Family Structural Theory

Family structures can change depending on the current situation. The level of agreement that family members create concerning both short-term and long-term goals determines the family structure to be taken. Difficulties may emerge when a second marriage comes in. While parents approach remarriage with ease and joy, children are usually uncomfortable due to impending changes in their lives. The structural model allows flexibility in families through regrouping into various subsystems to accommodate different situations (Gurman & Kniskern, 2014, p. 53).

The structural aspect of the family determines how the family members will react to each other. Individual experience that is influenced by external conditions creates a strong argument in structural family therapy (Levy, 2006, p. 60). When a new marriage comes in, the family structure should be disintegrated to allow for an integration of another family. New unions are created with different values and beliefs. The foundation for the new structure should be effective in accommodating gradual changes, as too many unexpected changes may create discomfort among kids. A strong support system is necessary to guide children on new changes. Parents should first set rules and guiding principles, which every family member should follow.

Structural family therapy provides a subjective outlook of social system. Thus, different individuals will react subjectively under different circumstances. It is upon the new couple to decide what to include in the family structure, depending on the needs of each family member. Above all, they should encourage communication between them and children. Sometimes, a marriage counselor can be sought to assist in uniting the two families.


The family health assessment is vital in the nursing process, as it provides information that can assist nursing professionals offering effective care to patients. Every member in the family has a role to play, and to assist in achieving family goals. Family structures should be flexible to accommodate new changes that occur among the members. In case of a second marriage, both parents should devise new rules that would guide on integrating both families into one while children should be given time to adapt to new rules.




Gurman, A. S., & Kniskern, D. P. (Eds.). (2014). Handbook of family therapy. New York, NY: Routledge.

Kaakinen, J. R., Gedaly-Duff, V., Hanson, S. M. H., & Coehlo, D. P. (2010). Family Health Care Nursing: Theory, Practice, and Research. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis Co.

Levy, J. (2006). Using a Metaperspective to Clarify the Structural-Narrative Debate in Family Therapy. Family Process45(1), 55-73. doi:10.1111/j.1545-5300.2006.00080.x

Mitrani, V. B., Feaster, D. J., McCabe, B. E., Czaja, S. J., & Szapocznik, J. (2005). Adapting the structural family systems rating to assess the patterns of interaction in families of dementia caregivers. The Gerontologist, 45(4), 445-55. Retrieved from