A Family Interview and Needs Assessment

The family is a part of society in which people grow up and acquire the necessary skills for life and the place where they acquire specific health characteristics. Assessment of family health is necessary to determine the category of risk to the health of its members, the socio-psychological state of the family, and the strengths of the health of family members. An interview can be considered an effective way to collect information and further develop a plan aimed at the family to provide medical care.

Even though many consider family care to be an essential aspect of medical help, there are still people who think otherwise. Moen and DePasquale (2017) empathize that in the United States, there are beliefs that “women should accomplish the care work of society – unpaid, paid and sometimes both” and “family members are doing much of the care previously relegated to trained professionals” (p. 48). Family relationships are of great importance for people’s health. The favorable moral and psychological climate of the family has a positive effect on the health of its members.

An average-sized Caucasian family was chosen to conduct the interview about family healthcare. It consisted of two 46-year-old parents and two children with an age difference of three years, a girl 18 years of age and a boy 15 years old. The family belongs to the middle class and Christian religion, but they are not supporters of frequent visits to religious institutions. A family-focused functional assessment was done after completing the questionnaire with each member. It is worth noting that there were no problems during the study. Each participant, after giving consent, willingly and informatively answered questions, which helped form a complete picture of the family’s attitude to health and medicine.

During the study, the family showed a positive trend concerning health. The topic of health and care for the family is a priority for its members. If severe symptoms appear, the family turns to their doctor. However, this does not apply to all diseases, for example, a cold. The mother noted that children experience this disease so often that they treat it independently when it occurs. Also, it is worth noting that similar actions are applied to headaches, toothache, intermittent pain. Family members either ignore it and tolerate it or take pain medication. This is considered incorrect since the suppression of such symptoms can be a sign of more severe diseases.

Although a healthy lifestyle is taken into account in the studied family, it is not fully observed. Parents note that they try to allow their children fast food or junk food as little as possible and prefer homemade food to restaurant food. The mother is engaged in the control of the purchased products and nutrition. In relation to sports, the family also shows satisfactory results. Both children are engaged in competitive swimming, and the father is a former athlete. The family tries to spend active weekends going hiking or just walking in the parks several times a month.

There are no cancerous or venereal diseases in the family history. There is chronic gastritis in the eldest daughter and allergies in both children and the mother among the chronic diseases. Allergic reactions manifest themselves in the form of a rash, cough, and runny nose. Stress does not prevail in the family and does not have a remarkable impact on family members. It is noted that the eldest daughter had insomnia several times due to exams related to graduation. No one in the family has problems with the cognitive side of perception.

Stress coping mechanisms can be chosen as functional health pattern strengths of the family. Older family members note that it is essential for them to overcome stress and preserve the mental and physical health of the whole family. Undoubtedly, people have to experience stress every day and are in difficult situations: quarrels and tension in the house, conflicts at work, unsuccessful communication with friends. Therefore, parents came up with several strategies to avoid impending relations with all members and preserve the family’s health.

The first method is physical exercise and compliance with the sleep regime. However, since the family does not have the opportunity to conduct constant training, they replace them with daily half-hour walks in the fresh air around the area. Furthermore, the family has a sleep regime, which all its members observe. The second strength is that parents have taught their children to understand that they are ready to listen to them and give the necessary advice if there is a need. In addition, to avoid additional stress associated with the socialization of adolescent children, they were educated about sex education. Moreover, children are also taught about the importance of health and need to inform their parents if they feel that there is something wrong with them.

As already mentioned, the first obstacle to health in the family is the tendency to self-medication. Inefficiency can be attributed to the dangers of mindless taking of medicines. Self-medication among adolescents is associated with low medication literacy (Lee et al., 2017). Drugs without prescription do not have the declared effect or hide the symptoms of the disease. An important aspect is also that not all colds can be treated with antibiotics. Moreover, with excessive use of antibiotics, resistance occurs.

The problem of the lack of a healthy diet in the family is also presented as a problem. Despite parents talking about the lack of fast food in their daily diet, children say the opposite. In addition to fast food, children privately buy various snacks and do not follow the diet, which has already affected the eldest daughter’s health. De Ridder et al. (2017) emphasize that people have relatively insufficient knowledge and awareness of a healthy diet. A healthy lifestyle creates the best conditions for the ordinary course of physiological and mental processes, which reduces the likelihood of various diseases and increases life expectancy.

The third problem is that the family rarely passes routine examinations and seeks medical help only after the disease. Even though relatives of family members did not have any oncological or venereological diseases, examinations are still necessary. Preventive examinations are carried out at established age periods to timely identify pathological diseases and risk factors for their development and determine health groups and develop recommendations for improving health for minors and their parents.

The theory of family systems can be used to inspire changes in the family. At the same time, they motivate positive changes in the functioning of the household. Such therapy will include the study of relationships between family members using feedback. It is noted that family systems theory gives an essential way to understanding children’s welfare system (Thompson et al., 2017). This will help them understand the process of behavior that occurs between family members.

Thus, it is essential to say that the care of the family is an essential factor in people’s lives. Moreover, families are different, so the state of people’s health depends on close, trusting relationships in the family that have a massive role in people’s health. It should be borne in mind that a favorable environment in the house always has a beneficial effect on the well-being and health of its members. It is essential to conduct research to deduce the attitude to health, values, everyday habits, and characteristics of each cell of society.

References

de Ridder, D., Kroese, F., Evers, C., Adriaanse, M., & Gillebaart, M. (2017). Healthy diet: Health impact, prevalence, correlates, and interventions. Psychology & Health, 32(8), 907-941.

Lee, C. H., Chang, F. C., Hsu, S. D., Chi, H. Y., Huang, L. J., & Yeh, M. K. (2017). Inappropriate self-medication among adolescents and its association with lower medication literacy and substance use. PloS One, 12(12).

Moen, P., & DePasquale, N. (2017). Family care work: A policy-relevant research agenda. International Journal of Care and Caring, 1(1), 45-62.

Thompson, H. M., Wojciak, A. S., & Cooley, M. E. (2019). Family-based approach to the child welfare system: An integration of Bowen family theory concepts. Journal of Family Social Work, 22(3), 231-252.

Appendix A

Questionnaire

Topic Questions
Values/
Health
Perception
Do you always go to the doctor if you feel that something is wrong with your health?
What is your attitude to the topic of family health?
What do you consider as family values?
Nutrition How do you feel about a healthy lifestyle?
Do you follow a healthy lifestyle? If so, how?
How does your family control nutrition and who usually does it?
Sleep/Rest How many hours a day do you usually sleep?
How do you usually rest if you feel tired or unwell?
Does your health condition affect the quantity and quality of your sleep? How is this usually expressed?
Elimination In what cases do you eliminate a health problem on your own without involving medical assistance?
What are the reasons for you not having routine examinations?
How do you eliminate possible serious risks to your health?
Activity/
Exercise
How do you usually spend your free time with your family?
Do you attend any courses or clubs related to an active lifestyle and exercise?
Do you exercise regularly? What sports do you prefer?
Cognitive What difficulties do you experience in professional activity, social activity and interaction with other people from the side of thinking and psychological activity?
Do you experience fatigue during prolonged mental activity?
How do you maintain your cognitive abilities, such as memory, speech?
Sensory-Perception Have you ever experienced a feeling of alienation of your body or personality?
Have you ever experienced hallucinations?
Have you noticed a deterioration or, on the contrary, an increase in the intensity of perception?
Self-Perception How easily can you determine that something is wrong with your health?
What will you do if you feel unwell?
How would you describe your attitude to yourself, your self-esteem?
Role Relationship What is your place/role in the family?
What is your relationship with your family members?
Do you consider the opinion of the older family members to be authoritative?
Sexuality How would you describe your sexuality?
How is the issue of sexuality discussed and considered in your family?
How is sexual education implemented in your family, if there is one at all?
Coping How often do you experience stress?
What coping mechanisms do you usually use to overcome stress?
Have you ever contacted a specialist on this problem?

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NerdyRoo. 2022. "A Family Interview and Needs Assessment." August 28, 2022. https://nerdyroo.com/a-family-interview-and-needs-assessment/.

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