Family Assessment of Health Problems


The X family is a small family unit consisting of two parents and two children. The father, A, is a 52-year-old male of Jewish ancestry. The mother, B, is a 48-year-old female of mixed ancestry, with known Irish, English, and Spanish roots. They share two children, 18 years old twins, a male, and a female. The father holds a fire chief position at the local fire station, while the mother is an accountant. The children are attending their last year of high school, with the male twin having a part-time job as a barista and the female twin working as a babysitter. All members of the family describe themselves as non-religious and non-spiritual.

Family genogram
Figure 1. Family genogram

Family Environment

The family currently resides in a single-family dwelling, with parents sharing a room and each of the twins having their own bedroom with individual bathrooms. The house has indoor plumbing and separate cooking facilities and is equipped with a hot water boiler heating system. No cooling system is installed in the house due to most of the windows being north and east-facing. The family struggled with the term “head of the household,” with A and B stating that they prefer to make decisions together and put significant decisions to a family vote. The roles within the family are well defined, with parents responsible for cooking dinner, grocery shopping, laundry, and deep cleaning the house, while the children are responsible for their bedrooms and bathrooms, vacuuming, dusting, and washing dishes. Overall, the family states that everybody is performing their roles, and when someone has no time to do chores due to work or school, others help them. This is done in order to avoid work or school-related strain.

Family ecomap
Figure 2. Family ecomap

No one in the family smokes or uses chewing tobacco or illegal drugs. The father used to smoke but quit 12 years ago, after his father, now deceased, was diagnosed with lung cancer. Both parents drink alcohol, with the father consuming 5-7 drinks per week, while the mother consumes up to 5 drinks per week. Thus, both parents are within the norm for alcohol consumption (National Institutes of Health, 2020). The family is very health conscious due to the history of cancer on both sides of the family. On the father’s side, the grandfather was diagnosed and died of lung cancer, while on the mother’s side, the grandmother and mother’s sister were both diagnosed with breast cancer. The mother recently underwent a double mastectomy as she was at high risk for cancer. The children have no major health problems but are aware of their family history and know they might be high risk for cancer.

The family values their health and undergo a complete check-up every year to avoid major health problems. The family diet is highly nutritious, with most meals prepared with grains, vegetables, and meats. The intake of processed foods and products high in refined sugars is minimal. The parents state their average sleep time is 7-8 hours, while the children sleep 4-5 hours on average due to the high workload. The father is physically active – he visits the gym three times per week and jogs every morning. The male twin plays football at high school and attends a gym with his father, while the female twin does gymnastics and attends a dance class two times a week. The mother does not participate in any sports or physical practices. However, she used to go to the gym, do pilates, and jog before the mastectomy. The family uses a home remedy for colds but does not use them for any other illnesses.

Functional Health Pattern Strengths

The functional health pattern model includes 11 functional patterns of behavior. They include health management, nutrition, elimination, exercise, rest, perceptual, relationship, self-concept, reproductive, belief, and stress tolerance patterns (Temel & Kutlu, 2019). It can be argued that one of the described family’s health patterns strengths is health perception and management. The family is highly health-conscious due to the family history of cancer and undergoes check-ups regularly. Furthermore, family members take preventative measures to prevent disease development, as illustrated by the mother undergoing a double mastectomy.

Furthermore, the father and children engage in several physical activities, while the mother ceased all activities she engaged in previous to her mastectomy operation. Physical exercise is highly beneficial for physical and mental health, lowering the risk of developing certain physical and psychological conditions and increasing cognitive function (Grasdalsmoen et al., 2020, Leyland et al., 2019). In addition, the family follows a healthy diet with very few processed products and foods containing refined sugars being present in their diet. Thus, the exercise and nutrition patterns are a functional health pattern strength of the described family.

Identified Health Problems and Barriers to Health

Few health problems and barriers to health can be identified in this case. The mother’s lack of physical activity after the mastectomy operation is concerning as the drop of the exercise routines was sudden and unexplained as there are currently no physical limitations to exercise. The second concern is the mother’s mental health, as double mastectomy is a serious procedure that could have affected her self-image and self-perception. A psychologist intervention is advised, as depression is common after total mastectomy (Padmalatha et al., 2021). Furthermore, the twins’ lack of sleep is worrying, and their rest pattern should be addressed due to possible complications, including depression, anxiety, and increased blood sugar and blood pressure (Hanson & Huecker, 2020). The family has no barriers to health and can easily access healthcare.


Grasdalsmoen, M., Eriksen, H. R., Lønning, K. J., & Sivertsen, B. (2020). Physical exercise, mental health problems, and suicide attempts in university students. BMC Psychiatry, 20(1), 1-11. Web.

Hanson J. A., Huecker M.R. (2021). Sleep Deprivation. In: StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing, Web.

Leyland, L., Spencer, B., Beale, N., Jones, T., & Van Reekum, C. M. (2019). The effect of cycling on cognitive function and well-being in older adults. PLOS ONE, 14(2), 1-17. Web.

National Institutes of Health. (2020). What are the U.S. guidelines for drinking? Rethinking Drinking NIAAA. Web.

Padmalatha, S., Tsai, Y., Ku, H., Wu, Y., Yu, T., Fang, S., & Ko, N. (2021). Higher risk of depression after total mastectomy versus breast reconstruction among adult women with breast cancer: A systematic review and Metaregression. Clinical Breast Cancer, 21(5), 526-538. Web.

Temel, M., & Kutlu, F. Y. (2019). Functional health pattern model based care plan for a depression diagnosed patient. Florence Nightingale Hemşirelik Dergisi, 27(1), 91-103. Web.

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