Family Assessment: Gordon’s Health Patterns

Cite this


The assignment involved choosing a family on which to conduct a family assessment. The chosen family has four members, a father, a mother, an elder son, and a daughter. In order to complete the assessment using Gordon’s 11 functional health patterns, a set of questions targeting each of the 11 patterns were developed. These questions were not specific and they were mostly vague to ensure that the interview was not binding (O’Brien-Pallas, Irvine & Murray, 2007). This paper provides a detailed health assessment of this family. In addition, the paper provides a few examples of wellness and family nurse diagnoses by analyzing the findings of the assessment.

List of Questions used to Interview the Family

  1. A pattern of Health Perception and Health Management
    1. How often do family members engage in drinking, smoking, or both?
    2. What is the family’s health maintenance legacy?
    3. What health risks are faced by family members?
  2. Nutritional Metabolic Pattern
    1. What are the eating habits of family members?
    2. What kinds of foods are mostly found in the family’s fridge?
    3. Are there any particular eating habits in the family?
  3. Elimination Pattern
    1. What are the family’s liquid intake and elimination habits?
    2. What are the bowel movement patterns of the family?
  4. Activity and Exercise Pattern
    1. Do family members engage in any forms of regular physical exercise?
    2. What are the common hindrances to physical exercises?
    3. Would you consider the family to be in good physical shape at the moment?
  5. Cognitive Perceptual Pattern
    1. What are the family members’ levels of education?
    2. Does any family member use reading aids such as hearing aids and reading glasses?
    3. What is the family’s average threshold for pain?
  6. Sleep Rest Pattern
    1. Is the family fond of sleep?
    2. Are there recorded cases of irregular sleep habits among the family members?
  7. Self-Perception and Self-Concept Pattern
    1. What is the family’s mode of dressing and fashion sense?
    2. How does the family view cosmetic surgeries and procedures?
  8. Role-Relationship Pattern
    1. How are roles distributed among family members?
    2. Are there any role-related clashes amongst family members?
  9. Sexuality and Reproduction
    1. Are there any members who suffer from sex-related traumas?
    2. Are there any noted instances of sexual dysfunction among the family members?
  10. Coping-stress Tolerance Pattern
    1. How do family members handle stress?
    2. What behaviors are mostly used by family members in the course of coping with stress?
  11. Value Belief Pattern
    1. Is the family religious?
    2. What is the family’s moral code?

Results of the Assessment

According to the findings of the assessment, no family member engages in smoking or takes alcohol. The family does not adhere to any strict health maintenance legacy. However, the family emphasizes the use of natural medicines as opposed to chemically constituted medicines. For instance, three out of the four family members confessed to using various forms of Chinese traditional medicines. Some of the risks faced by the family include the risk of the family members suffering from arthritis. This risk is partly due to the cold environment and the economic activities of the family members who have to work in open environments. The other risk is that of family members suffering from asthma on account of the family descendants’ medical history (Gordon, 2010).

When assessing the family’s metabolic pattern, it was found out that the family is quite health-conscious when it comes to food choices. However, all family members eat at least three meals a day with an emphasis on a heavy breakfast. The most common type of food in the family’s fridge is fruits. The other types of foods consumed by the family include carbohydrates such as cereals, rice, and wheat products.

The family also has a regular meat consumption habit with meat products being consumed at least five times a week by the family. Nevertheless, the family is not fond of consuming processed foods and foods that have high salt content. The family’s elimination assessment revealed regular patterns. Most family members void their bladder at least five times a day and have a bowel movement at least once a day. Two family members take a lot of water and consequently empty their bladders more than seven times a day.

The family is not fond of scheduled physical exercise routines. None of the family members is a gym member and the family does not have any gym equipment within the household. However, the family is able to compensate for this shortfall in a number of ways. For instance, the parents’ economic activity ensures that they walk an average of three miles a day. On the other hand, the children have embraced voluntary health-conscious activities such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

The family is in good physical shape although the son is a little underweight. Most family members blame their lack of scheduled physical activity on busy schedules and the fact that they are not ‘fat’. Half of the family members exhibited high levels of intelligence while the other two have above-average intelligence. In addition, three of the family members suffer from mild eyesight deficiencies although only one family member uses reading glasses.

The sleep-rest pattern assessment revealed that all of the family members are late sleepers and late risers. It was also revealed that no family member suffers from irregular sleeping habits. Most family members consider themselves well-versed fashion-wise and have no major body image issues. However, the mother suffers from mild body image issues and expresses the desire to gain weight to avoid looking too ‘bonny’. The family frowns upon cosmetic procedures. Overall, the family is quite traditional with the father assuming the role of the leader. The assessment also revealed that there are hardly any role-related conflicts in the family.

The family found the questions on sexuality and reproduction invasive and none of the family members responded to them. The family mostly uses religion to cope with stress. The father reads the bible when he is stressed while the mother and daughter sing gospel tunes to deal with stress. On the other hand, the son watches comedy shows to cope with stress. The family has strong Christian moral values and regularly attends church services with the exception of the son who rarely attends such services.

Wellness Diagnoses

According to the assessment, the family exhibits sufficient health-seeking behaviors. The family strives to eat a balanced diet and tries to avoid processed foods that the family views as having negative health impacts. The family also embraces the need for natural medicines although some of them might have little to no impact on overall wellness. The family is also well prepared to deal with its impending health risks such as arthritis and asthma. These health-seeking behaviors are an important asset to the family when it comes to general wellness (Weber, 2009).

When it comes to physical exercise patterns, the family exhibits the willingness to accrue the benefits of cardiac-related exercises such as walking and climbing stairs. This is evident from the daily activities of the family members. However, the family members neglect other forms of physical exercise on the grounds that they are not ‘fat’. This is evident from the family’s lack of a good home-based exercise program. This hinders the family from getting the benefits of a wide range of exercise programs. However, the family does not exhibit any wellness shortcomings as a result of its exercise patterns.

Although the family’s sleep patterns indicate readiness for healthy rest, these patterns can change as time progresses. Moreover, the family did not reveal detailed information about the member’s sleep patterns. For instance, while some members might sleep for long hours, others might sleep for a limited number of hours. Other inconsistencies in sleep patterns include light sleeping and heavy sleeping. Some severe cases of such inconsistencies might be signs of sleep pattern disturbances or sleep deprivation (Cox, Hinz & Sridaromont, 2001). However, the assessed family does not indicate any major symptoms of these conditions.

The family indicated general wellness in role-relationship patterns. All family members seem ready to engage in healthy role-based relationships. This indicates that the parents of this family have undertaken their parental duties well. This form of wellness in the relationship patterns is likely to extend to the younger members of the family and make them more experienced when they are forming other relationships. Moreover, the members of the family are most likely well prepared to perform caregiver duties. Adequate role-relationship patterns also enable individuals to have better communications skills and participate in healthy social interactions. Some psychological functions such as grieving are also enhanced by good role-relationship patterns.


Cox, H. C., Hinz, M. D. & Sridaromont, K. L. (2001). Clinical applications of nursing diagnosis: Adult, child, women’s, psychiatric, gerontologic, and home health considerations. New York, NY: FA Davis Company.

Gordon, M. (2010). Manual of nursing diagnosis. New York, NY: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

O’Brien-Pallas, L., Irvine, D. & Murray, M. (2007). Measuring nursing workload: understanding the variability. Nursing Economics, 15(4), 171-182.

Weber, J. R. (2009). Nurses’ handbook of health assessment. New York, NY: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Cite this paper

Select style


NursingBird. (2021, March 6). Family Assessment: Gordon’s Health Patterns. Retrieved from


NursingBird. (2021, March 6). Family Assessment: Gordon’s Health Patterns.

Work Cited

"Family Assessment: Gordon’s Health Patterns." NursingBird, 6 Mar. 2021,


NursingBird. (2021) 'Family Assessment: Gordon’s Health Patterns'. 6 March.


NursingBird. 2021. "Family Assessment: Gordon’s Health Patterns." March 6, 2021.

1. NursingBird. "Family Assessment: Gordon’s Health Patterns." March 6, 2021.


NursingBird. "Family Assessment: Gordon’s Health Patterns." March 6, 2021.