Family Health Assessment

Gordon’s functional patterns are used by nurses as an assessment tool in evaluating the level of wellness a family experiences. The evaluation is conducted by asking questions, which might have been pre-designed, but not used during the interview in front of family members. This could create discomfort and hinder openness during the interview (Gordon, 2009).

             A family health assessment was conducted on the Maynard Family. It was intended to evaluate the family health utilizing Gordon’s 11 functional patterns. The unit consists of a father, mother and three children, two boys and one girl. Mr. and Mrs. Maynard were contacted regarding my assignment and they were very approachable and receptive. An explanation of my purpose was clearly outlined before engaging the family in any discussion. Family members who were younger had a separate briefing as to my expectation of their involvement.

Precisely, consent of each family member was necessary to gain their cooperation during the process. This was adhering to the need of maintaining privacy and confidentiality. Evidently, Gordon’s eleven functional patterns was the focus of this evaluation. Each pattern was reviewed in relation to their importance to the evaluation.  A preliminary greeting was extended to the family as a group and each member was given an opportunity to introduce themselves. I did so too briefly. Values, health perception, nutrition, sleep/rest, elimination, activity/exercise, cognitive/perception, self-perception, role relationship, sexuality and coping skills were highlighted as the skills, which would have been reviewed during the interview (Gordon, 2009).

The interview was conducted using in a cordial conversational tone. Values were the first health pattern to be discussed. Mrs. Maynard expressed how she loved her husband and family and had confidence that their relationship would last a very long time. She admired the integrity of her husband who was a perfect role model for her sons. Mr. Maynard responded by saying that he valued love, which covered a series of misdemeanors.  Each child showed what relationship meant to them by hugging their parents and each other demonstrating the value of attachment in the home.

Perceptions of health played a very important part in integrating this family. Each parent had an assignment for keeping the children in alignment with health principles. Health insurance coverage existed since both parents were in professions, which offered subscription plans, which took care of the family’s health. They kept their doctor’s appointments.  Children were serviced by a family pediatrician, which was an entitlement in their existing HMO plan. It was well utilized because they all had shots/ vaccines and followed the pediatrician’s orders pertaining to exercise and eating well.

However, this did not prevent them from graving fast foods and sweets occasionally. Mrs. Maynard monitored her children’s diet closely insisting that they eat fresh fruits instead. Therefore, nutrition can be perceived from a wellness paradigm for this family. They lavished fresh green leafy vegetables every day. Three meals per day schedule were not a fallacy, but importantly a home rule which had to be kept.

This family enjoyed sleep/rest and activity/exercise. Just like eating and food it became a family tradition to rest and sleep after a hard day’s work or school. Interestingly, they developed mantras to help them keep abreast with what was required in maintaining their health status. These included, ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,’ too much rest is never the best,’  ‘too much work is can’t stand the test.’ As such, they maintained at least six hours sleep at nights and maybe two during segments during the day was encouraged especially when the family gets together before retiring to bed. A diet rich in fibers, fruits, vegetables, proteins and minerals constipation was enforced. Therefore, this family did not relate any Elimination, inconsistencies. These were observed to be within the healthy range.

The Maynards can be described as a nuclear middle class family union. It was discovered during the interview that cognitive/ self-perception and role relationships were perfect stages of wellness.  Both parents were proud graduates from renowned colleges in the community and all four children were consistently high academic achievers. A Mr. and Mrs. Maynard’s expectations of their children was of a very high level and this contributed to their well-being of the entire family.

As such, everyone was well oriented to their role relationship. There was conviction in demonstrating how perfectly each family member can function within their role. The children commended their dad for being an excellent provider and mom as a faithful companion whenever they needed solace. There was immense evidence of cohesiveness. Relatively, they demonstrated powerful coping skills. Also, it appeared from responses as though each person was comfortable with their gender and the sex roles they were intended to perform in their social environment. Hence, a wellness nursing diagnosis of Readiness for Enhanced Sexuality Pattern was made.  The health status was commendable. They are relatively emotionally stabled. Principles of keeping in perfect health were practiced; adequate nutrition; physical activity and rest were proportionally balanced.

As such, one identifiable wellness nursing diagnosis is readiness for enhanced comfort level as it related to sensory perceptual pattern.  The next was subtle overeating when children tried to overrule their parent and hide eating fast food from the McDonalds close to their school.  Readiness for enhanced nutritional metabolic pattern.was evident

Some degree of emotional disturbance was expressed by Mrs. Maynard who sometimes felt inadequate in her duties as a wife, but endeavors to be the best wife that she can be. These subtle signals of fear if not addressed could develop into serious diseases.  Studies show where diabetes, hypertension; heart disease, cancer, kidney dysfunction, gastric disturbances, sudden collapse were all stress related conditions (Ziemba, 2007).

Based on the foregoing interview an assessment summary of wellness diagnoses are positive health seeking behavior related to heath perception and health management pattern. Readiness for Enhanced Nutritional Metabolic Pattern is another associated with nutritional metabolic pattern. Elimination pattern was also identified as a wellness diagnosis as being appropriate for their life style. Activity and exercise pattern was well established. The family displayed readiness for enhanced sexuality patterns when the sexuality and reproductive pattern evaluation was conducted.

Assumptions from Systems Theory were used to aid in this evaluation for accurate assessment and wellness diagnoses. These include assessment, diagnosis, implementation and evaluation linking sociology with psychology, public health, nursing process and philosophy (Rudolf, 2011). Importantly, a holistic approach to nursing cannot be overlooked in modern science since one dysfunction in a person’s health pattern affects the whole system. This was exemplified in the Maynard family. Knowledge of systems theory application helped me integrate wellness nursing diagnoses into wellness conditions that may enhance bodily function, ultimately. The family was very appreciative of my interview. I thanked them for their time and we parted. For them it meant that someone cared.


Gordon, Marjory (2009) Manual of Nursing Diagnosis (12th Edition).  Boston: Jones & Bartlet


Rudolf, S. (2011) Systems Theory. International Encyclopedia of Political Science. Sage

New York.

Ziemba, S. (2007). Wellness Nursing Diagnosis for Health Promotion. American Journal of

Nursing, 6(15), 34-50.


Interviewing Schedule

Section1–    Values

  1. What are your family values? (a)Friendship (b) Love (c) relationship
  1. What is least valuable to you? (a) Friendship, (b) love (c) Relationship

Section 11–   Health Perception and Nutrition

  1. How is your health status? (a) Above average (b) average (c) below average
  1. What do you eat plenty of:-

(a) vegetables; (b) Fruits (c) Fried meat

  1. How often you visit the doctor? (a) Never (b) occasionally (c) often


Section 111-   Sleep/rest, elimination and activity/exercise

  1. How often do you rest/rest? (a) Never take a rest (b) twice daily (c) as often as possible
  2. 2.When do you have a bowel movement? (a) Every day(b) every two days ; (c) once every five days
  3.  How often do you exercise? (a) Daily (b) Weekly (c) Once per month

Section 1V-    Cognitive/perception, self-perception and role relationship.

  1. How far did you reach academically? (a) High school (b) College (c) Post college
  2. How do you rate your social relationship with regarding to your immediate environment? (a) Good ( b) very good (c) Not so good
  3. How would you rate your interactions with people, generally? (a)Excellent (b) Mediocre (c) Poor

Section V– Sexuality and coping.

  1. How do you perceive your sexual orientation? (a) Promiscuous; (b) abnormal (c) normal
  1. Does this affect the way you deal with problems? (a) Yes/No
  1. How would you describe your coping skills? (a) Excellent(b) average (c) poor