Calgary Family Assessment Model Paper


This paper attempts to bridge the gap between Rolland’s Chronic Health Challenge Framework and the Calgary Family Assessment Model (CFAM) by including one family’s experience of living with several chronic illnesses into it. Dr. Lorraine M. Wright, a professor Emeritus of nursing and Dr. Maureen Leahey, a manager of a mental health outpatient program with over 25 years expertise while still overseeing, instructing, consulting, writing, and maintaining a part-time clinical practice in individual, couple, and family therapy developed CFAM (Moxie).

The model is based on systems theory and general systems thinking. It sees the family as an open system that is in constant interaction with its environment. The model has been used extensively in research and clinical practice to assess families’ needs and strengths, plan interventions, and evaluate outcomes (Wright & Leahey, 2000).

Rolland’s Chronic Health Challenge Framework was developed by Dr. Pierre Rolland, a professor of family medicine at the University of Colorado. It is based on his years of experience working with families living with chronic illness. The framework provides a way to understand how families adapt to chronic illness over time and can be used to assess needs and plan interventions (Rolland, 1994).

In this paper we will first describe the CFAM and then show how it can be used to assess a family’s needs and strengths. We will then describe Rolland’s Chronic Health Challenge Framework and how it can be used to understand the family’s adaptation to chronic illness over time. Finally, we will discuss how the two models can be used together to provide a more comprehensive assessment of a family’s needs and to plan interventions that address those needs.

The Calgary Family Assessment Model (CFAM) is based on systems theory and general systems thinking. It sees the family as an open system that is in constant interaction with its environment. The model has been used extensively in research and clinical practice to assess families’ needs and strengths, plan interventions, and evaluate outcomes (Wright & Leahey, 2000). The model is composed of six subsystems: structural, functional, developmental, relational, contextual, and cultural.

The structural subsystem includes the family’s size, composition, and structure. The functional subsystem includes the family’s roles, rules, and rituals. The developmental subsystem includes the family’s life cycle stage and developmental tasks. The relational subsystem includes the family’s relationships with extended family members, friends, and other support systems. The contextual subsystem includes the family’s social and economic context. The cultural subsystem includes the family’s ethnic and cultural background.

The CFAM can be used to assess a family’s needs in each of these six areas. It can also be used to assess a family’s strengths in each area. To assess a family’s needs, the clinician considers each subsystem separately and asks questions about how well the family is functioning in that area. To assess a family’s strengths, the clinician considers all of the subsystems together and looks for areas where the family is functioning well despite challenges in other areas.

During interviews, nurses may use CFAM to evaluate families. CFAM is a three-category framework that includes structural, dimensional, and functional components. (Wright & Leahey, 2005) Each category has its own subcategories, allowing the nurse to pull out family strengths, areas for improvement, and roles of potential resources that the family may need. These themes aid the nurse in evaluating the family’s current viewpoints and allowing them to offer assistance with any issues or difficulties they are facing at that time in their lives.

The three categories of CFAM are:

– Structural: This category focuses on the family’s physical structure. This includes the number of family members, their ages, and any cultural or religious factors that may influence the family.

– Dimensional: This category assesses how well the family functions. It includes questions about communication, decision making, and problem solving skills.

– Functional: This category looks at the roles each member of the family plays. It also assesses the family’s coping skills and resilience in times of stress. (Wright & Leahey, 2005)

CFAM is a valuable tool for nurses when assessing families. It helps to identify strengths and weaknesses within the family, and provides a framework for nurses to use when providing care.

A family with a father who has cystic fibrosis, diabetes, life-threatening asthma, and metabolic myopathies was interviewed. In order to protect privacy, each family member’s name has been changed. Bob Jones will be known as Bob; his mother will be called Sue Jones; Jane will be known as Bobs girlfriend; and Anna will be known as the 2 year old daughter.

The Calgary Family Assessment Model (CFAM) is a tool used by health care professionals to assess families. It can be used in cases where there is a need to understand how a family functions, identify areas of strength and resilience, and develop a plan of care.

The CFAM consists of four main components:

1. The family interview

2. The family genogram

3. The family ecomap

4. The family strengths and stressors assessment

The family interview is the first step in the CFAM process. This is where health care professionals will gather information about the family’s structure, roles, and relationships. The interviewer will also ask about the family’s history, including any major life events or changes that have taken place.

The family genogram is a graphical representation of the family tree. It can be used to identify patterns of behaviour, health, and relationships within the family.

The family ecomap is a diagram that shows the different systems and people that the family interacts with. This can include things like work, school, child care, and extended family.

The final step in the CFAM is the assessment of family strengths and stressors. This is where health care professionals will identify areas where the family may need support or assistance. They will also look for any protective factors that could help the family cope with stressors.

Internal, external, and context are the three categories of the structural category of CFAM. The nurse may build up a concept of who is family, what links family members and those outside the family has with one another, and what the family’s situation is by generating questions that comply with the household.

The functional subcategory of CFAM is also composed of three parts: Communication, decision-making and problem-solving. This part of the model focuses on how the family communicates both within the family system and with those outside the family. It also addresses how decisions are made within the family and how problems are solved (Wright & Leahey, 2005). The final subcategory of CFAM is developmental, which encompasses life cycle and generational perspectives. This allows the nurse to understand where the family is in terms of development and how this affects their current functioning (Wright & Leahey, 2005).

The Calgary Family Assessment Model can be used in a number of ways to assess families. One way is to use it as a framework to guide a family interview. This can be done by using the three subcategories of CFAM as a guide to ask questions about the family. Another way to use CFAM is to conduct a focused assessment on one particular area of concern. For example, if a family is struggling with communication, the nurse could focus their assessment on that particular area. Using CFAM can help nurses to get a well-rounded picture of the family and their needs.

The Calgary Family Assessment Model is a helpful tool for nurses to assess families. It is important to remember that every family is different and will have different needs. By using CFAM, nurses can get a better understanding of the families they work with and how to best meet their needs.


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