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The Calgary Family Assessment Model

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The Calgary Family Assessment Model

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The purpose of this paper is to incorporate one family's experience of living with multiple chronic illnesses into the Calgary Family Assessment Model (CFAM) and Rolland's Chronic Health Challenge Framework. CFAM was developed by Dr. Lorraine M. Wright, a professor Emeritus of nursing and by Dr. Maureen Leahey, a manager of a mental health outpatient program both have over 25 years experience while still managing to supervise, teach, consult, write, and maintain a part-time clinical practice in individual, couple, and family therapy (Moxie, 2007). CFAM allows nurses to assess families during interviews. CFAM is a multidimensional framework consisting of three major categories: structural, dimensional and functional. (Wright & Leahey, 2005) Each category has its own subcategories, with the ability to pull out family strengths, weaknesses and roles of possible resources the family has or may need. These topics help the nurse assess the family's perspectives at that particular moment in their lives and allows the nurse to help with any problems or challenges the family may face. The family interviewed was a gentleman living with cystic fibrosis, diabetes, life threatening asthma and metabolic myopathies. For confidentiality, each family members name has been changed. The gentleman living with the chronic illness will be named Bob Jones, Bobs mother will be named Sue Jones, Bobs girlfriend will go by Jane, and the 2 year old daughter will be named Anna.

The structural category of CFAM is broken down into three subcategories: Internal, external and context. Developing questions according the family allows the nurse to develop an idea of who is considered family, what is the connection among family members and those outside the family, and what is the family's context (Wright & Leahey, 2005). Internal consists of family composition, gender, sexual orientation, rank order, subsystems and boundaries. Assessing family composition allows the nurse to discover who is...