Comprehensive nursing care not only involves treatment and caring for sick patients, but it also involves the consideration of factors that can contribute to a patient’s disease. Marjory Gordon identified eleven functional health patterns that encompass all of the factors that nurses can consider to deliver holistic nursing care. Nurses use these eleven patterns to take the history of clients, which enables them to provide proper care to individuals, families, and communities (Gordon, 1998). Additionally, the utilization of the eleven patterns ensures that nurses take information that is coherent and practical to help other healthcare providers in delivering competent care. This paper examines a summary of the assessment findings of a four-member family and then provides three wellness diagnoses for the family.


The family which was assessed has four members, a father, a mother, and two children. The father is 56 years old, and he is a teacher. The mother is 52 years old and works as a sales agent. They have two children, a son, and a daughter. Their son is 25 years old, and he has completed his undergraduate studies three months ago. Their daughter is 23 years old, and she is still in college studying computer science. All family members were present during the assessment, and all of them have contributed to the interview.

Assessment: Values and Health Perception

After observation, it can be concluded that all family members seem to be in a healthy state. The father says that he was involved in a minor road accident two weeks before the assessment, but he was not seriously injured. Similarly, the mother is healthy and says that she does not have any serious health problems. The daughter is also healthy. The first-born son says that he experiences some episodes of asthmatic attacks. Nevertheless, he says that he visits the family doctor regularly and his symptoms are well controlled. Other family members say that they visit the family physician regularly for checkups. The daughter says, besides the regular visits, she also visits the dentist twice a month.

Nutrition-Metabolic Pattern

All family members understand the significance of having a balanced diet. Before the assessment, they were eating apples and a watermelon, which they indicate that the doctor advised them to be eating, at least three times a week. The mother explains the importance of proteins in building the body and carbohydrates that give energy. She has a proper grasp of the food pyramid, and she says that she is in charge of ensuring that the family gets an adequate diet.

Sleep-Rest Pattern

All family members say that they sleep well. However, the son says that he sometimes has difficulties sleeping during the usual episodes asthmatic attack. The family has ensured that he stays away from the possible allergens to help him sleep better. The father says that they usually pray together as a family before they go to sleep. The daily sleep time is 22:30 p.m. and the regular wake time is 05:30 a.m.

Elimination Pattern

No family member admits having problems with elimination. The mother indicates that she only experienced incontinence when she had the second pregnancy but the problem disappeared soon after the delivery. The father says his doctor has never found any problems with his urethral meatus when examining the prostate. No family member reports of any current incidents of diarrhea.

Activity-Exercise Pattern

The family members say that they all exercise at different times. The father usually exercises in the morning before he leaves for work. The mother says she enjoys jogging twice a week on the road. She further says that the practice has helped her to maintain a healthy weight. The daughter says she joins her mother in jogging when she is at home, but she rarely does it at college. The son says he does some pushups and sit-ups at home, which he says, have helped him to be physically fit. The father says that the motivation of the family to exercise is to avoid gaining excessive weight.

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Sensory-Perception Pattern

The family doctor carries out a review of their body systems every time they visit him. All of them say that he gives them results and they have never had problems with their sensory organs, such as eyes and ears. The family members say they learn best with the help of visual techniques. Whenever they have problems, they gather as a family and talk about it. During the assessment, all of them had gathered to discuss the business that their mother had started.

Self-Perception-Self-Concept Pattern

All family members have high self-esteem. All of them utter encouraging sentiments, which indicate that they are optimistic about life. They are also very goal-oriented. The only weakness of the family is the short-tempered daughter. All family members say they understand her behavior and they keep quiet every time she starts to complain about something.

Role-Relationship Pattern

All of the family members acknowledge the significance of being together. Moreover, the father is still the sole breadwinner; he looks at it as his main responsibility to care for the family. All of the family members belong to various groups in the church. The mother says they meet twice a week for a Bible study.

Sexuality-Reproductive Pattern

The parents indicated that they did not experience any problems with their sexuality. They teach their children the importance of abstaining or using protection every time they have sexual intercourse. The son says he values the advice of his parents regarding sexuality.

Coping-Stress Tolerance Pattern

The major change happened when the mother quit her job to start her business. She experienced some financial constraints while stabilizing her business, but the father and the son helped her. They say they are proud of the change, as it will promote the family’s financial independence.

Value-Belief Pattern

These people are all Seventh-day Adventist Christians. They have a family goal of helping their mother to improve her restaurant business. They all indicate that God has been instrumental in helping them reach their goals.

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Wellness Diagnoses

Potential for the Enhanced Capability for a Healthy Lifestyle

From the assessment, the family embraces a healthy lifestyle. Every member of the household understands the importance of maintaining a healthy diet. All family members consume fruits and vegetables, and they all do a lot of exercise. According to Boeing et al. (2012), the consumption of vegetables and fruits plays a significant role in the prevention of chronic diseases. Additionally, Durstine, Gordon, Wang, and Luo (2013) argue that physical exercise contributes to a healthy lifestyle and freedom from chronic diseases. The nurse has a task to encourage these activities since they guarantee wellness for the whole family.

Readiness for Enhanced Coping

When the mother left her job to start her restaurant business, all of the family members supported her. She underwent some financial problems, but the father and the son contributed towards the business until she could stabilize. They also say that the Christian religion is a source of hope to them when coping with challenges. Such coping has put the family together and has improved the functionality of the household. Accordingly, the nurse should promote positive feelings of hope and the willingness to cope with various challenges.


For nurses to take a comprehensive history of individuals, families, and communities, they have to utilize the eleven functional health patterns. When assessing families, the nurse should ask for information from every family member to find out the way the 11 patterns affect each member. Information gathered from all family members can also help the nurse to assess family wellness. The four-member family evaluated in this paper had adequate family coping and was committed to keeping themselves healthy. The nurse caring for this family can thus encourage them to continue with their good habits and warn them about the dangers of neglecting such healthy practices.

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