The family I have interviewed is composed of 4 members: a mother and her three children. Violy, the mother, is 53 years old, a widow and has no occupation. Groban, the eldest, is 26 years old, male, single, has a Master’s degree in Education and has been a university instructor and researcher for four years. Lambert, the second child, is 20 years old, male, single and a senior Fine Arts student. Carrie, the youngest child, is 17 years old, single and sophomore student majoring in Physics. The family lives in a 2-storey residence with a 240 square meter floor area. The family has an average annual income of $ 100,000.00.
The general state of health of the family was assessed through the use of Gordon’s 11 Functional Health Patterns Assessment tool (Gordon, 1994).
On the health perception-health management pattern, Violy said the general health of the family has been relatively good for the past 6 months. No significant illness has been observed to any of the members except colds and allergies. Further, eating adequate amount of fruits and vegetables and staying away from vices (e.g., alcoholic drinking, smoking) keep the family healthy.
On nutritional-metabolic pattern, Violy said that the family typically eats 4-5 times a day. Vegetables, fruits, sea foods, lean meats are the usual diet of the family. The family prefers drinking fruit shakes and carbonated drinks. They rarely drink alcoholic beverages. According to Violy, each of the members typically drinks 10 or more glasses of water a day. Lastly, there has been no significant weight loss noted to any member of the family.
On the elimination pattern, Violy said the she normally defecates once or twice day and she urinates on the average of 5-8 times a day. Groban said he defecates once a day and urinates more than 5 times a day. Lambert said he defecates once a day and urinates 6 or more times a day. Carrie defecates once a week and urinates 6 or more times a day. No excessive perspiration has been noted to any member.
On the activity-exercise pattern, Violy said the family doesn’t follow a strict exercise regimen. Collectively, they consider attending to their respective activities of daily living (ADL) as a form of exercise. During leisure time, Violy typically watches TV, Groban reads novels and writes research articles, Lambert plays guitar and hangs out with his friends, and Carrie watches TV and takes care of her pets. No member of the family needs assistance in carrying out their respective ADLs.
On sleep-rest pattern, Violy said she sleeps on an average of 6 hours every night and usually takes a quick nap for 30 minutes to 1 hour every afternoon. Groban sleeps 8 hours every night. Lambert sleeps also 8 hours every night. Carrie sleeps 5-6 hours every night on weekdays and 7-8 hours on weekends. Groban, Lambert and Carrie do not take naps on weekdays as they are busy with their work and schooling.
On the cognitive-perceptual pattern, no hearing difficulty has been noted to any member of the family. The members speak in a moderate and tolerable volume. Violy, Groban and Lambert wear eyeglasses. Groban has been diagnosed with myopia (nearsightedness), astigmatism and is being observed for closed-angle glaucoma. No significant change in the memory has been noted to any member of the family.
On the self-perception-self-concept pattern, each member said he/she feels good about himself. For Groban, he is proud of the fact that he graduated magna cum laude in college with a GPA of 4.75, obtained a Master’s degree when he was 25 and published on an ISI-journal at 26. The things that would make the family collectively angry are insufficient financial resources, intimate relationships of Lambert with the same sex and some misunderstandings. There have been no signs of hopelessness noted to any member of the family according to Violy.
The family is a nuclear type of family. Since the death of the father, Groban has been acting as the breadwinner and has been sustaining the financial needs of the family. Being short of finances is the usual problem the family is facing. According to Groban, he only earns enough to sustain all the needs of the family. However, sometimes he still comes short with his budget.
On the sexuality-reproductive pattern, Violy hasn’t been in any intimate relationship since the death of her husband. Groban said the he has been in various intimate relationships with the opposite sex. He confessed that he is a virgin still and to cope with his sexual tensions and his fantasies he said that he used to watch porn and masturbate. Lambert and Carrie weren’t comfortable discussing their sexuality behaviors.
On the coping-stress tolerance pattern, Groban’s graduation from his graduate studies, is considered a life-changing event for the family. Groban got a decently-paying research job in a university since his graduation. When confronted with problems, specifically financial in nature, Violy said they would normally discuss the matter with each other and would suggest alternatives to address the problems.
On the values-belief pattern, Violy said their family value health, education and reputation the most. She confessed that her family is not religiously active however they believe in a Supreme Being who created us all. Being spiritual than being religious matters more to the family. According to Groban, the latter is only a social construct that entails subjecting the constituents to strict compliance to traditions and rites- superficial representations of faith.
On the aforesaid assessment information, I have come up with the following wellness nursing diagnoses for the family of Violy: altered bowel elimination (constipation) for Carrie; Risk for ineffective sexuality pattern for Groban; and disturbed sensory perception (visual) for Violy, Groban and Lambert (Weber, 2005).
Gordon, M. (1994). Nursing diagnosis: Process and application (3rd ed.). St. Louis: Mosby.
Weber, J.R. (2005). Nurses’ handbook for health assessment (5th ed.). Philadelphia, PA:
Lippincott & Williams.
GORDON’S FUNCTIONAL HEALTH PATTERNS ASSESSMENT: FAMILY HEALTH NURSING APPROACH (sample questions)
- Health Perception-Health Management Pattern
- How has the general health of the family been?
- What were the illnesses of the family members for the past 6 months?
- What does the family do to keep its members healthy?
- Nutritional Metabolic Pattern
- Describe the family’s typical food intake (i.e., quality, quantity, frequency).
- Describe the family’s typical fluid intake (i.e., quality, quantity, frequency).
- Has there been any significant weight loss noted to any member of the family?
- Elimination Pattern
- Describe the family members’ bowel elimination pattern (i.e., frequency, character, discomfort, problem in control).
- Describe the family members’ urinary elimination pattern (i.e., frequency, character, discomfort, problem in control).
- Has there been any excessive perspiration noted to any member of the family?
- Activity-Exercise Pattern
- Describe the family members’ typical exercise pattern (i.e., regularity).
- What does the family usually do during leisure time?
- Are there members of the family who need assistance in carrying out activities of daily living?
- Sleep-Rest Pattern
- Describe the family’s sleeping pattern (i.e., time, duration, quality).
- Are there any problems in sleeping noted to any member of the family?
- Is the enough time for rest for each of the member of the family?
- Cognitive-Perceptual Pattern
- Has there been any hearing difficulty noted to any member of the family?
- Has there been any visual (seeing) difficulty noted to any member of the family?
- Has there been any significant change in memory noted to any member of the family?
- Self-Perception-Self-Concept Pattern
- Does each member of the member feel good about themselves?
- What are the things that would usually make each member of the family to feel angry?
- Has there been any sign of hopelessness noted to any member of the family?
- Roles-Relationship Pattern
- What is the structure of the family (i.e., nuclear, extended, blended)?
- Are there any problems that family has difficulty dealing with?
- Does the family have sufficient income to sustain the needs of the members of the family?
- Sexuality –Reproductive Pattern
- When appropriate to age and situation: Is the sexual relationship of the parents satisfying?
- When appropriate to age and situation: Do the couple in the family use any forms of contraceptives?
- Does this couple have difficulty or problems with these contraceptives?
- Coping –Stress Tolerance Pattern
- Are there any significant changes that have occurred in the family recently?
- How has the family coped with this change?
- When the family is confronted with any problem, how do they typically cope with them?
- Values-Beliefs Pattern
- What are the things does the family value the most?
- Is religion important in the family?
- Does religion help when difficulty/problems arise in the family?