Sample Nursing Essays on Family Health Assessment

Family Health Assessment

Health care visits for individuals and their families can encompass more than just receiving treatment for current illnesses. Assessment of family health enable people to determine the types of illnesses that they are likely to get throughout their lifespan. A family health assessment is a tool, which enables healthcare providers to create effective care plan for patients and their families (Weber, 2013). This tool is designed increase the utilization of outpatient health facilities by increasing the awareness on family-centered health care. It also aims at providing an organized way for health facilities to assess family health status and promote follow-ups. Aside from these, the use of this tool promotes primary care through prevention of diseases (Estes, Calleja, Theobald, & Harvey, 2015).

The family health assessment began by analyzing the composition of the family through assessment of the age, gender, and race of the members of the family. A Caucasian nuclear family with two children was selected for this analysis. The couple, John and Mary, aged 38 and 36 respectively, had been married for eight years. They had two sons, Nathaniel and Jeremy, aged 8 and 4 years respectively. John was the leader of the family and the primary provider. John worked as an IT specialist in a consultation firm while Mary was a physiotherapist at a local clinic. The family was homeschooling their children though they reported planning to enroll them to educational institutions at high school level.

When questioned about their physical or psychological conditions affecting their family, they stated that Mary had been having issues with her weight for the past eight years and had developed high blood pressure after her second pregnancy. The family also states that they were concerned about the risk of breast cancer as Peter’s mother and two of Mary’s aunts had died after being diagnosed with breast cancer. An assessment of the family’s living situation showed that they were a middle-class household, with John earning $112,000 a year while Mary was earning $80,000 annually. The couple is also involve in the real estate business and states that they get profits ranging between $60,000 and $150,000 annually.

When questioned on how well they had accomplished their age-appropriate individual tasks, John states that he and his wife had managed to accomplish the plans they made earlier in their marriage. Mary also stated that through her observations, their children had passed through each milestone development successfully. Mary also reported that the early stages of life for their children were the most stressful due to their work commitments and their need to care for their infants. Although Mary, had received a six months maternal leave from work, she reported that she still felt guilty leaving her children afterward.

The development stage of this family can be analyzed by the family development theory, which focuses on the stages a family goes through from premarital relationships, through marriage, birth and growth of children and raising of children. These developments also include the contraction of the family structure as children leave their parents to form their own families, and the death of the spouses (Strong & Cohen, 2016). This assessment shows that John and Mary’s family are currently in the family with schoolchildren stage. Other specifications considered in the staging of a family according to this theory include assessment of factors such as family economics, size, and the developmental tasks encountered at each stage (White, Klein, & Martin, 2014). John and Mary’s marriage, which had lasted for eight years and the development of their children provide indicates their attainment of this stage of family development.

When questioned about a family history of genetic diseases, Mary restated that, John’s mother had died of breast cancer and two of her aunts had succumbed to the same disease. She also reported that her mother had been on treatment for hypertension for the last twenty years. When questioned about their immunization status, Mary states that they took both their children for all the recommended immunizations according to their children’s clinic booklets.

The couple reported that they had not noticed any adolescent related behavior as their children were still young. When questioned about past hospital admissions of any member of their family, the couple reported that Mary’s younger sister had been admitted to the hospital two months ago after being involved in a road traffic accident, but had a full recovery one week after her admission. The family handled this by visiting her at the hospital to offer her moral support, clearing her hospital bill, and ensuring she had settled back at Mary’s parents place safely after being discharged.

While assessing the family’s mode of communication, John reported that they have family meetings at the end of each day to assess how their day was and resolve any issues that they may have as a family. He also stated that the children are given an opportunity to voice their opinions during these meetings. Mary reported that their communication methods had been effective and ensure that everyone in the family understood how and why these decisions were made. The parents are however the ones responsible for making final decisions.

There was no evidence of violence in the family. John reported that they made decisions during their early days as married couples to consult each other whenever they were facing challenging issues. They also reported relying on an older married couple at their church, as a marriage mentor. The couple also reported that they discipline their children together to ensure that their children understand that they work as a team. They reported encouraging good behavior and use of leisure restrictions (such as restriction to play video games) as a discipline mechanism. They also reported the use of house rules in maintaining their children’s discipline.

While assessing them on how they deal with crisis, John reported that they had set up an emergency fund for the family after their wedding to ensure that they would always be prepared for any crisis. They also rely on each other for emotional support when faced with any crisis. Mary reported that they were Christians and believed in the existence of God and the power of prayer in resolving any situation. She reported that after every family meeting, the family prays together. She also reported that their beliefs in Christianity had not affected their diet. Some of the goals that the couple had was to live a healthy life and be able to see their children grow up and achieve their career and life goals. The assessment revealed that the family gets support from their family, friends, and church members whenever they are faced with a challenge. They was however no evidence of role conflict or role overload. John restated that they had an emergency plan to deal with crisis that comprised of a savings bank account and health insurance coverage for the entire family.

Nursing Diagnosis

Through the family health assessment the three nursing diagnoses made were, obesity, hypertension, and breast cancer. Mary reported struggling with weight issues but did not state use of any weight control mechanisms. To reduce the risk of childhood obesity or development of obesity later among any of the other family members, dietary modifications will be applied. The patient will enroll in a local gym based on aerobics and other moderate exercise. The family will also participate in activities that promote healthy weight such as cycling on the weekends and participating in morning run activities. The family will also base their meals on healthy food choices. The nurse will assess the risks associated with weight gain among the rest of the family members and suggest the purchasing a home weighing scale and BMI chart for occasional assessment of weight to height ratios (Coulston, Boushey, & Ferruzzi, 2013).

The nursing diagnosis of hypertension was based on the history of Mary’s mother and Mary’s current condition. The risk of hypertension also extends to John and the children who might develop it at a later stage of life. To manage Mary’s condition and reduce its risks among the rest of the family members, the nurse practitioner advised the family to participate in physical activity, consume healthy diets, and to reduce intake of processed foods and drinks. Mary was also counseled on monitoring her sodium consumption as it contributes to high blood pressure (Coulston, Boushey, & Ferruzzi, 2013).

The third nursing diagnosis made through this family’s assessment was breast cancer. The risk of breast cancer applies to both male and females (Russo, 2016). As such, the family was advised to consume diets rich in antioxidants as they promote the elimination of free radicals and to participate in exercise to reduce the risk of obesity, which also promotes the development of cancers. The nurse practitioner advised Mary to conduct self-breast cancer assessment at home and go for mammogram examination after every three years.

The use of a family health assessment as a tool enables families to identify which diseases they are at risk of getting and create preventive plans. This is an effective method of reducing the cost associated with healthcare by implementing preventive mechanisms and early treatment of diseases. Adherence to the preventive mechanisms as advised by the nurse could increase the quality of life of this family.




Coulston, A. M., Boushey, C., & Ferruzzi, M. (2013). Nutrition in the Prevention and Treatment of Disease. Academic Press.

Estes, M. E., Calleja, P., Theobald, K., & Harvey, T. (2015). Health Assessment and Physical Examination: Australian and New Zealand Edition with Student Resource Acces 24 Months. Cengage AU.

Russo, J. (2016). Trends in Breast Cancer Prevention. Springer.

Strong, B., & Cohen, T. F. (2016). The Marriage and Family Experience: Intimate Relationships in a Changing Society. Cengage Learning.

Weber, J. R. (2013). Nurse’s Handbook of Health Assessment. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

White, J. M., Klein, D. M., & Martin, T. F. (2014). Family Theories: An Introduction. SAGE Publications.