Family Health Assessment Case Study

  • Rubina Malik

Family health assessment is important to learn about the individual’s family and life style. Being a nurse it is important for me to know various dynamics of individual’s behavior and values and his family heritage to form a better care plan for the family to maintain better health. Family health assessment gives caregivers a clear picture of an individual’s measures for his family wellbeing. The tool used for the family health assessment is

Gordon’s Health Pattern Assessment.

The health patterns assessment was designed by

Marjory Gordon

in 1987 and is used to provide a comprehensive nursing database. In this paper 11 aspects of human functions and health are discussed. The family selected for the interview is Riyami family, an African American family. The family consists of 5 members, Mr. & Mrs. Riyami and their 3 sons. Mr. Riyami is 63 years old and is suffering with hypertension; Mrs. Riyami is 55 years old and is diabetic. Their sons do not have any health issues and are of age 25, 20 and 19 years respectively. Questions were asked from the family to know the impact of each health pattern on their way of living a healthier life.

Health perception and health management is based on individual’s personal health beliefs for health maintenance and protection (Koshar). Health is not only the absence of any sickness but it is more of a mental, physical and social wellbeing. The health perception of Riyami family is based on eating healthy as they believe that only physical fit body can stay safe from minor and major health issues. As Mr. & Mrs. Riyami take their medication regularly and are very conscious about their health. They follow their health heritage norms to cure any minor illness i.e. use of herbal treatment and home remedies. Every person in their family takes herbal treatment for any common illness for example flu, headache, stomach gastric issues etc. they prefer visiting the physician for routine checkups and in case of any serious emergency. Their elder son drinks alcohol and smoke cigarette in social gatherings. They perform their religious obligations with full devotion.

Nutrition and metabolism assessment mainly focus on the nutrition consumption according to the metabolic requirements of the body (Koshar). Nutrition consumption is very well balanced among the family members and intake of fluids to keep body hydrated is considered important for the family members. They consumption of fruits and vegetables is higher and prefer taking small quantity of sugar, sodium and carbohydrates in their diet. Herbal tea is taken in routine by the family. The family makes sure to take an appropriate amount of calories and also try to eat their traditional cuisine and less fast food items.

Sleep and rest patterns are assessed to know the relaxation and rest practice of the individuals (Koshar). Mr. Riyami works in the morning shift and tries to be in bed around 10pm. As Mrs. Riyami is a registered nurse and works night shift, she takes adequate sleep in the day time and prefers to take more rest on her days off from work. Their sons prefer taking nap after they get back home from school and prefer not staying up late during their school. Whereas the elder one prefers sleeping early as he is a full time worker and has to work morning shift. Every member in their family takes approximate sleep according to their routine.

Elimination is stated as the excretory pattern (Koshar). From the assessment no one in family seems to have issue with their excretory pattern. The family does not have any complain regarding their bowl movement or urination.

Activity and Exercise is referred to the daily activities that involve energy, activities related to self-care, leisure activities and exercise/workouts (Koshar). Mr. Riyami was a soccer player and a soccer couch but he stopped practicing sports from 20 years, now he enjoys watching soccer game in his leisure time. Mrs. Riyami due to her busy schedule is not involved in any activity or exercise but she know the importance of having these activities to remain healthy. Mr. & Mrs. Riyami go for a walk of 30-45 minutes daily. Their sons play soccer and believe that it gives them a good workout and fun altogether.

Cognitive and sensory assessment is to assess the individual’s ability to understand and response towards any information and to sense that information appropriately. This assessment is done to know about the cognitive ability and capacity of the individuals (Koshar). Mr. and Mrs. Riyami are well educated; Mrs. Riyami just completed her RN-BSN degree with good grades and hence finds no problem in assessing or responding to any information. No cognitive disability was found in their family.

Self-perception assessment focuses on person’s behavior and attitude toward self, which includes confidence, their identity and their physique (Koshar). The Riyami family does not have or face any issues regarding self esteem. They are happy and content with their lifestyle and believe that they are blessed by God and are loved by everyone around. Mr. & Mrs. Riyami give the same teaching to their children and pray for them to be confident enough and not face any issue of self-worth.

Role and Relationship pattern assess the individual’s relationship with others and the role they play in this world. Riyami family has a strong faith and family bond (Koshar). Mr. & Mrs. Riyami share all the love and care and teach the same to their children. Mr. and Mrs. Riyami like to meet people and enjoy the company of their family and friends. They have a respectable status among their loved ones.

Sexuality pattern assessment focuses on individual’s level of satisfaction of dissatisfaction of their sexuality and reproduction patterns (Koshar). Mr. & Mrs. Riyami are satisfied with their sexual life. They share intimate moments and believe that love is what had made their relationship bond strong. They make sure they spend enough time together out of their busy routine.

Coping and stress tolerance assessment is done to know individual’s strength to cope up with the stress and strategies used by him/her to overcome that stress (Koshar). Mr. Mrs. Riyami believe that all happiness and sorrow , worry and stress comes in life and to overcome that situation they only support and strength is given to an individual by the God. They share and communicate with one another in case any problem occurs and try to overcome the situation by mutual understanding and corporation. They pray to God at times of crisis and happiness. Their family, friends and prayers are part of their support system.

The two nursing wellness diagnosis assessed from interviewing Riyami family are; nutritional-metabolic pattern and coping-stress tolerance pattern. Mr. & Mrs. Riyami take their medications in time but sometimes due to work load and stress they skip their meal or do not take enough food as the body requirement. In case of Mrs. Riyami specially as she is diabetic and has to keep check on food and nutrition while she is at work, it becomes a difficult part for her. Mr. Riyami being hypertensive have to make sure that he avoid take any stress but often work load or any uncertain happening give him stress that makes him feel low. Their kids being young and enthusiastic do not have any health issue but they often become ignorant about their nutrition which is a point of worry for their parents as they don’t want their kids to face health issues like hypertension diabetes or any related medical problem.

The Gordon’s health pattern assessment had been a great help for me while assessing the family. It truly is a great tool for nurses to analyze and assess their clients and families. I was able to learn about the family from different health perspectives which gave me a good experience of assessing different health patterns and their impact on a family’s health and functions.


Koshar, J. (n.d.).

Gordon’s Functional Health Patterns

. Retrieved from

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