Family Health Assessment: Social Determinants, Screening, and Health Model


Health assessment is one of the key healthcare providers’ tasks enabling them to identify the exact patients’ needs. Based on the results of such evaluation, it is possible to develop an effective action plan that will be instrumental in achieving optimal patient outcomes (Sokol et al., 2019). This paper includes a brief analysis of social determinants of health affecting the Ludwick family and an action plan grounded on the health beliefs model.

Social Determinants of Health

Like any other family, the Ludwicks are affected by a set of social determinants of health. Notably, the family is in quite a favorable environment, which has a positive effect on each member’s health. Housing and neighborhood, employment, access to education, and healthcare services are the social determinants that have a positive influence. Swope and Hernández (2019) emphasize that housing is one of the pillars of people’s well-being as related issues directly affect people’s health. The Ludwicks live in a middle-income neighborhood in a relatively big house with rooms available for all members of the family.

The factor having a negative influence on their health is transportation, as it causes certain distress to Lulu (fatigue) and Adasah (safety concerns). The fact that all family members have access to quality care (enabling them to have regular checkups, visit the doctor when necessary, and get vaccinations) contributes to their quite high health status. Importantly, socioeconomic status, neighborhood, food environment, healthcare accessibility, and social support are important social determinants of health-related diabetes (Hill-Briggs et al., 2021). Lulu is at risk of diabetes, but he has a high chance of preventing this health issue through her physical activity, healthy diet, and social activities in her neighborhood (church visits).

Age-Appropriate Screening for Each Family Member

Age-appropriate screening is an effective tool for identifying existing or potential health risks. Wood and Sperling (2019) claim that it is critical at all stages of people’s lives, but it is vital for children and adolescents as it displays any disruptions in their development. Hence, screening is one of the central instruments of prevention. The entire family has regular checkups, which is beneficial for their health. For Mr. and Mrs. Ludwick, it is necessary to assess their diabetes status, as Mrs. Ludwick is prediabetic. Mr. Ludwick’s condition should also be checked in terms of alcoholism, as he consumes alcohol rather frequently. Depression screening should be conducted for Mr. Ludwick (due to his substance abuse) and Joanne. Joanne’s behavior changed dramatically, and she is willing to avoid contact with her mother, so she can have mental health issues due to her developmental peculiarities (adolescents are vulnerable to developing depression). Finally, Adasah’s mental health should be screened as she displays some symptoms of anxiety.

Assessment of the Health Model

The most appropriate framework for the Ludwick family is the Health Belief Model (HBM). The HBM is a social cognitive model aimed at predicting and explaining people’s health behaviors (Saghafi-Asl et al., 2020). According to the model, individuals’ behavior is shaped by the following concepts: perceived severity, perceived susceptibility, perceived benefit, perceived barrier, cue to action, and self-efficacy. This paradigm is appropriate for the current cases as the family members in question are reasonable, open to communication (except Joanne at this period of her life), supportive, and ready to change. Lulu is making the family’s diet healthier and encourages the family to do sports (jogging). By explaining the risks and benefits of this or that condition, Lulu manages to motivate her family to take action.

Application of Health Model

The action plan appropriate for the Ludwick family will consist of two parts that will be implemented simultaneously. The first part will be concerned with physical health: diet and physical training. They should visit their family nurse or primary care provider, who will give the necessary recommendations. Communication with the care provider will be maintained through online platforms (telehealth). All the health belief model stages will be communicated during regular sessions (initial face-to-face meetings and monthly online discussions). During the first meeting, an action plan will be developed and discussed, and the family’s compliance will be evaluated during online communications. It is necessary to create a healthy eating plan and possible ways to be physically active. It can be a good idea to include a list of events and community-based organizations and facilities that offer the corresponding activities in this plan. The Ludwick family is not actively involved in the social life of their community, but their engagement can have a positive effect on their mental and physical health.

They should also address a family therapist who can design cognitive behavioral therapy for them. Family members communicated freely previously, but their communication has deteriorated due to some issues (husband’s uncovered problems, adolescence-related concerns, child development peculiarities). The family therapist will help them articulate their needs and understand each other better. The communication with the therapist will be weekly (face-to-face and online if necessary). The family should also have regular home discussions where they share their views and concerns freely, discuss health issues (and beliefs), and develop their health and other family plans.


On balance, this health assessment suggests that the Ludwick family has a high health status, although there are some apparent concerns. The fact that Lulu is committed to changing the family’s eating habits and improving their physical activity is promising. The support of her family is also critical since all of them are ready to change and live healthy lives. They understand the benefits of healthy living and are prepared to move in the correct direction. At that, Lulu has to pay more attention to the mental health of her husband and daughters. The social cognitive approach should be applied to develop an appropriate action plan.


Hill-Briggs, F., Adler, N. E., Berkowitz, S. A., Chin, M. H., Gary-Webb, T. L., & Navas-Acien, A., Thornton, P. L., & Haire-Joshu, D. (2021). Social determinants of health and diabetes: A scientific review. Diabetes Care, 44(1), 258-279. Web.

Saghafi-Asl, M., Aliasgharzadeh, S., & Asghari-Jafarabadi, M. (2020). Factors influencing weight management behavior among college students: An application of the Health Belief Model. PLOS ONE, 15(2), 1-15. Web.

Sokol, R., Austin, A., Chandler, C., Byrum, E., Bousquette, J., & Lancaster, C., Doss, G., Dotson, A., Urbaeva, V., Singichetti, B., Brevard, K., Towner Wright, S., Lanier, P., Shanahan, M. (2019). Screening children for social determinants of health: A systematic review. Pediatrics, 144(4). Web.

Swope, C. B., & Hernández, D. (2019). Housing as a determinant of health equity: A conceptual model. Social Science & Medicine, 243, 1-65. Web.

Wood, S. K., & Sperling, R. (2019). Pediatric screening. Primary Care: Clinics in Office Practice, 46(1), 69-84. Web.

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