Family Health Assessment
A family health assessment refers to the evaluation of a family’s health situation or status, and it involves gathering, comparing, analyzing, and synthesizing a family’s health-related information such as nutritional practices, participation in physical exercise, past health complications, and others. To conduct a family health assessment for a workmate (Johnson), three open-ended, family-focused questions were developed for health patterns including values and health perception, nutrition, sleep/rest, elimination, activity/exercise, cognitive, sensory-perception, self-perception, role relationship, sexuality, and coping. This paper presents a compilation and analysis of the findings or responses to the questions asked during the interview based on the mentioned health patterns.
Values; Health Perception
Following the interview, it was found that Johnson’s family values include honesty, transparency, and hard work. Further, he reiterated that health complications have been common in the family with the wife and daughter having had instances of high blood pressure and breathing problems respectively. Like every other family, Johnson affirmed his commitment to seeking medical attention or services in case of an encounter with health problems. Agreeably, the best intervention or way to overcome health complications or issues faced by families is seeking medical attention even though this is a great challenge to families with low-income and cannot afford the same (Bomar, 2004).
Regarding nutrition, the interviewee confirmed his commitment to ensuring daily consumption of healthy meals. According to him, a healthy meal is that which contains a variety of nutrients and has less fat content that is one of the leading causes of complications in the body blood system. As is the view of many people, the interviewee confirmed that cooking own meals is more viable than eating outside as the latter exposes people to low-quality foods that a threat to healthy living. Access to healthy nutrition remains a challenge for many people because of the high costs and prices involved. It was found that the high cost of commodities is an impediment to the interviewed family’s access to healthy nutrition. Besides, the lack of knowledge and guidance on healthy nutrition was identified as one of the key problems faced by the family when it comes to accessing healthy nutrition (Bomar, 2004).
According to health experts, having enough sleep or rest is critical to healthy living (Weber & Kelley, 2013). In this regard, Johnson confirmed that he recommends 8 hours of sleep for his daughter and 6-7 hours of sleep for himself and the wife. He also stated that the normal sleeping and waking up times are 10 pm and 6 am respectively on a day-to-day basis. With comfort during sleep or rest being a precursor to healthy living, the interviewed family emphasized the need for spacious and quiet sleeping environments.
When it comes to elimination health patterns, it was found that family members have normal bladder patterns except for the daughter whose irregular bladder patterns were attributed to age. It was also determined that the family had experienced constipation problems in the past three months. Although determining the causes of the family’s recurrent constipation problems in the past three months remained a challenge, the interviewee confirmed having knowledge and understanding of what constipation is. He defined constipation as a condition in which difficulty is experienced when emptying the bowels, often associated with hardened feces. From the interview, it was also found that discharge of excreta was not a significant challenge for the family given the proper sewerage systems in place.
One of the key areas of focus in family health assessments is determining involvement or participation in physical exercise or activity. It was found that the members of the family participated in physical exercises two-thrice a week depending on their schedules. The family confirmed a preference for physical exercises such as running, playing soccer, and regular stretching. Although the family confirmed a preference for the home environment for physical activities, they gave suggestions on visiting fitness centers in future.
Understanding cognitive abilities was another crucial aspect of the family health assessment. Of course, with knowledge and understanding of the family members’ cognitive abilities, correct explanations could be given for the exhibited behaviors before, during, and after the interview (Wright & Leahey, 2013). Johnson stated that he had not measured his IQ and that he was not aware of how to go about that. However, he mentioned that a close friend suggested regular random tests in the house, which he always scored higher than other members of his family. Moreover, it was found that the family participated in games such as chess, which contributed significantly to their cognitive development.
The assessment on family health also focused on sensory perception as a health pattern. It was found that the family did numerous check-ups and visited medical centers to determine or tell whether any member had a sensory problems or complications. The family confirmed having encountered sensory problems such as eye and ear defects. For the eye defects, the family addressed this by seeking help from opticians. For the ear defects, the family resorted to using prescribed medication, which enabled them to overcome the same.
From a self-perception perspective, Johnson stated that he would see himself as general manager and successful entrepreneur in future. Of course, this is in line with the argument that every person’s focus is to develop socially, physical, psychologically, and economically. He also mentioned that he has managed to care for his family for five years, which he considered a great challenge. Amidst these accomplishments, he highlighted having encountered numerous financial challenges. Moreover, the interviewee stated that he is an optimist, which underscores the big dreams he has in life.
Moreover, the family health assessment focused on the family’s role relationship. Based on this, the family confirmed their closeness and frequent communication with friends. In fact, it was found that over ten close friends had visited the family in the past one month with most of these visited the family on a daily basis. It was also found that the frequent visits or meetings helped the family maintain its close relationships with neighbors, relatives, and friends. There is no doubt that by maintaining good relationships with neighbors and friends, the family enjoyed an enhanced social interaction that contributed to their better health standards (Wright & Leahey, 2013).
With an emphasis on sexuality as one of the health patterns in the interview, a question was asked on the number of children in the family concerning gender. Based on this question, it was found that the family had one biological daughter and one adopted son. Still, on matters of sexuality, the family confirmed that it held discussions with the children on such matters weekly. Johnson further confirmed that the discussions on sexuality had an impact on how his daughter relates with boys of her age. He confirmed that the daughter mingles freely with boys of her age unlike other girls from neighboring family who hardly relate with boys of their age.
Problems remain inevitable from a family point of view. Johnson confirmed that his family had encountered numerous financial problems in the past, which were addressed by the intervention of well-wishers. He also emphasized the adverse impacts of health complications suffered by the family over the years, and how constant medication had helped address such complications. Coping with and owning problematic situations has been a priority for the family. One of the ways through which the family copes with problematic situations is informing and seeking advice and guidance from close friends and relatives.
Wellness problems based on family health assessment
Based on the family health assessment, some of the evident wellness problems identified about the family include recurrent health complications such as high blood pressure and breathing problems as well as constant depression caused by psychological, physical, social, and economic challenges. As seen above, health complications remain a significant challenge for the family, and the impediments to accessing healthcare services make the complications even greater threats to the family. Health complications have adverse impacts on the wellbeing of individuals (Wright & Leahey, 2013), and therefore, they are among many of the wellness problems faced by the interviewed family. Depression also has adverse impacts on the wellbeing of individuals, and the fact that it affected the wellness of the members of the interviewed family cannot be doubted. Addressing the identified wellness problems can be beneficial to families such as Johnson’s. Of course, support from friends and other individuals from a social and financial perspective could help several families do away with the identified wellness issues.
Bomar, P. J. (2004). Promoting health in families: Applying family research and theory to nursing practice. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders.
Weber, J. R. & Kelley, J. H. (2013). Health assessment in nursing. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Wright, L. M., & Leahey, M. (2013). Nurses and families: A guide to family assessment and intervention. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis Company.