Type: Exploratory
Pages: 5 | Words: 1225
Reading Time: 6 Minutes

Gordon’s eleven functional health patterns designed in 2007 assist in organizing basic family health assessment. The writer is going to focus on the assessment of a nuclear family of two parents and three children: two boys and a girl. Mr. Collins is 51 years old, Mrs. Collins is 44 years old, the first born boy is 14, the second one is 8 and the last born daughter is 7 years old. Gordon’s 11 functional patterns will serve as a reference to complete the health assessment. The paper will present results of the writer’s interview with the family which was conducted through the use of the open-minded questionnaire. A family-based nursing diagnosis was acquired following the assessment.

Family Values and Health Perception

The Collins’ are a very spiritual family with deep Christian family values that Mr. Collins stated existed in their family for a long time. The family attends Sunday mass each week and holds a prayer meeting each Friday night for the entire neighborhood of the Christian community. The family also explained that they promote healthy lifestyle through immunization and regular visits to the doctor for medical checkups to ensure everything is okay. The family was able to provide records from the doctor’s office that show the visits are up to date. Mrs. Collins also went ahead to explain how she ensures the family eats right by introducing a meal plan that offers a complete balanced diet throughout the week.

Mr. and Mrs. Collins do not have a medical history that would be considered a major concern for the family as there are no reported cases of any medical anomalies.

Nutritional Metabolic

The family has strict nutritional program, as explained to the writer by Mr. Collins. This program is specifically outlined in the meal plan prepared by the mother. The diet contains a strict diet of vitamins, carbohydrates and proteins in every meal or at least each day. There is also room for snacks for the kids that include freshly baked cookies but not before dinner.

The Collins’ have no history of any hereditary illness except for the fact that the entire family has visited the dentist to treat either a minor of major dental problem over the past two years. Mrs. Collins reported that she experienced major weight increase after the birth of her last born daughter but this was diagnosed as completely normal by the family doctor.


On the issue of the bowel problems, the Collins’ reported that they were exposed to diarrhea after eating out at a Tacos Restaurant once, but that is as far as it goes. They have resolved never to eat out and prefer to prepare home cooked meals that are less risky according to Mrs. Collins. Mr. Collins explains that he once has suffered from kidney disorder two years ago which was diagnosed as complete kidney failure. He received a kidney transplant from his elder sister four weeks after the diagnosis and now has a clean bill of health.

Sleep/Rest Self

The family members all have the same schedule of sleep and nap time except the last born girl who has to go to bed at least two hours earlier than the rest of the family. There are no concerns over sleep deprivation as the family reports that they get at least seven hours of sleep each day including a one hour siesta. Mrs. Collins says that she encourages nap time through giving the children warm milk immediately after midday meals. She takes medication at night before sleep as she has trouble falling asleep immediately she gets into bed. 

Activity/ Exercise

Working out is an important part of the family’s routine each week except for the children who only have to go play for their exercise. Mr. and Mrs. Collins visit the gym once a week. Mr. Collins mainly concentrates on a full body workout while Mrs. Collins has a trainer who advocates for cardio workouts to eliminate the weight she put on in the course of her pregnancy.

Mrs. Collins reports that the assessment of physical development of the children has been completely normal. She provided updated copies of the records from the doctor as well as the wall where she would mark the heights of the children as years progressed; the heights of the children were relatively the same when I made a comparison of different children.

Cognitive Perpetual

Mr. Collins reports that all the children register high grades in the academic fields, and as a basis uses this to perceive that his children are particularly attentive and alert in classrooms. He does not view his children as special or possessing extra mental capabilities; they are just normal kids with perfect attentiveness, according to him. The two young boys both wear glasses all day as they both have difficulty in their vision; the younger one has hyper myopia while the elder one is longsighted.   


The family can be described as joyous most of the time. The teenage boy has displayed general withdrawal and attitude that is expected seeing that he is a teenager. Changes in the body and personality of the boy include development of deep voice, broader chest and wetting of the bed, which he was highly embarrassed to admit at first. Additionally, Mrs. Collins explains, he has been irritably withdrawn and anxious about almost everything.

Role Relationship

Mr. Collins explains that all the family members live under one roof in a three bedroom house. The parents have traditionally shared the same room with the boys sharing a room as well. The younger girl has the privilege of sleeping in her own room, although she gets scared on stormy nights and sleeps in her parents’ room. On matters concerning decision making, Mr. Collins explains that he consults his wife and children on all matters ranging from financial decisions to vacation destinations.


Both Mr. and Mrs. Collins report that they have never had medical complications such as prostate, testicular or menstrual problems. However, the writer is not quite certain on the sincerity of the answers, given the sensitive nature of the questions asked.

Coping Stress Tolerance

The family is deeply committed to their spirituality and, as Mrs. Collins explains, the whole family uses their faith to deal with their problems. Additionally, the Collins’ eat together each day and at the dinner time pen up to each other and talk about high and low points of their day. This has been recommended as very useful tool for relieving stress by Stolte (1995).

Value Belief Pattern

Mr. Collins explained that his main priority is ensuring that his family has all the basic needs they require, as well as ensuring that children have the same strong religious background that he grew up with. He goes further to explain that the future is uncertain for the Collins’ but he intends to take it one step at a time.

A wellness nursing diagnosis points out that the subject(s) want(s) to achieve higher level of wellness and health. The following wellness diagnoses would be especially useful for the Collins’ family that has school-going children:

  • Progressive inclusion of young children in the family discussions and major decisions.
  • Increasing social interaction appropriate for the children’s abilities and ages.
  • Increasing utilization of the community and family resources.
  • Adapting the individual role in the family to fit the family dynamics and size.
  • Increasing the ability of the individual family members in doing family activities in order to meet different needs of the family members (Weber, 2005; Carpenito-Moyet, 2007).
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