Who are the members, & who are the larger community support the family?

Defining family is a complex task as it has many new contexts in our evolving society. Family is defined simply “as a group of mutually related people bound by blood, interest or merely affective relations” (Mantelo Cecillo et al, 2014). Families today have a variety of terminology to describe the components of its members, but simply “family is who they say they are” (Wright & Leahey, 2013).

Assessing the structural components and experiences of the family, a systemic perspective is required. The Calgary Family Assessment and Intervention model (CFAM) was proposed By Wright and Leahey in 2009 as an effective tool. According to Wright and Leahey, family members have a significant impact on the health and well-being of individuals members (Wright & Leahey, 2013). Nurses are required to embrace that illness needs to be treated as a family affair.

The CFAM has three assessment models- structural, developmental and functional- creating a multidimensional view into a perceptive view of the functions of the family unit. The assessment is a quick interview process typically given in no more than 15 minutes (Green, 2018)

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Structural Assessment: Includes immediate family composition, gender, sexual orientation, birth order, substyle and boundaries, ethnicity, race, social class and spirituality. Who are the members, & who are the larger community support the family?

Functional Assessment: Evaluating the family routines, activities of Daily living, verbal and non- verbal communication. How is affection shown, concerns and mutual understanding. Who has the power?

Developmental Assessment: This is the historic level of a family by birth, marriage, death and or separations. This reveals the family development, psychosocial and economic influences. Poverty, isolation, lack of access to address basic needs and adequate health care can result in poor health and poses a risk to physical safety.

Once you complete an assessment a separate model is used for interventions. The model is made to be straightforward and easy to apply. Embracing the uniqueness, strengths and understanding the family structure,the nurse can effectively identify problems areas. Understanding health promotion models and applying them to practice leads to increased health education/ literacy and the overall improvement of not the only the individual with health challenges but to the family as a whole (Green, 2017).


Mantelo Cecilio, H. P., Sturião dos Santos, K., & Silva Marcon, S. (2014). Calgary Model of Family Assessment: Experience in a Community Service Project. Cogitare Enfermagem19(3), 493–501. Retrieved from https://search-ebscohost-com.lopes.idm.oclc.org/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ccm&AN=103900892&site=eds-live&scope=site

Grand Canyon University (Ed) Green, S. (2018). Health promotion: Health & wellness across the continuum. Chapter 4. Retrieved from https://lc.gcumedia.com/nrs429vn/health-promotion-health-and-wellness-across-the-continuum/v1.1/

Wright, L.M., & Leahey, M.(2013) Nurses and families: a guide to family assessments and intervention. Phildelphia, PA: F. A. Davis company

( 2) reply 150 words citation and references

Defining family is difficult because there are many different family structures prevalent in society today. According to Green (2018) “A traditional definition of a family is the parents and offspring living together as a societal or social unit with the same ancestry” (para. 2). There are many family structures that are not considered to be traditional, so the traditional definition of family is no longer suitable for everyone. There are many family structures that are not considered traditional or nuclear families which include single parent, blended families, LGBTQ+, family members such as grandparents raising children, and families by choice (Green, 2018). Wright and Leahey (2013) defines family as “family is who they say they are” (p. 55). This definition of family is a great one because it encompasses the many different family structures that are prevalent today.

It is important to acknowledge the many different nontraditional family structures. To be able to provide the best care to a patient it is important for the nurse to understand the family structure so that the care and education provided can be tailored to the specific needs of the patient. Green (2018) states “Understanding what constitutes “family” for a particular societal unit aids the nurse in assessment and intervention for family health promotion” (para. 4). When assessing and identifying interventions to promote family health it is important to take into consideration the family structure.

The family systems theory can be used to better understand the interactions of everyone in a family unit. According to Green (2018) “Observing or understanding the complexity and emotions of the family system lends to understanding of the individual” (para. 6). Understanding the family system is vital in being able to understand as much as possible about the individual. Each individual within the family has a bearing on the other members of the family. By understanding each individual and the family as a unit makes it easier to understand how each person in the family is affected by the actions of others within the family.



Green, S. (2018). Grand Canyon University (Ed). Health promotion: Health & wellness across the continuum. Retrieved from https:// https://lc.gcumedia.com/nrs429vn/health-promotion-health-and-wellness-across-the-continuum/v1.1/#/chapter/4

Wright, L.M. & Leahey, M. (2013). Nurses and families: A guide to family assessment and intervention. Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis Company.