Free Essay: A Family-Centered Approach to Healthcare

Published: 2023-07-12
Free Essay: A Family-Centered Approach to Healthcare
Essay type:  Definition essays
Categories:  Medicine Family Healthcare policy Community health
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1848 words
16 min read

A family-centered approach to health care bases its foundation on the appreciation of the fact that family referring to parents or guardians, and possibly other siblings are the closest people or persons to the patient. This closeness to them makes them the most likely people to understand the nature, characteristics best, and cultural and religious beliefs of the patient. A family-centered approach to health care is a system trying to encourage and take advantage of this close relationship between the family and the patient to ensure better services to the patients while also benefiting from other advantages that come with it. In pediatric patients, this approach becomes even more critical to their well-being. Pediatric patients can be defined as those who are between infancy to adolescence. Various specific approach and their observed benefits are discussed in this paper.

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There have been different healthcare approaches that have been studied and tried over the years with various levels of success, and while considering multiple factors. There have been other suggestions, such as self-care, community care, self-help groups, family care, and many different approaches. It is a general thought that criteria that focus on more holistic considerations are more effective in the healthcare field. Approaches that are more geared to protect the patients from other chronic diseases have also been considered, such as taking the hospitals to the homes of the patients instead of them coming to the hospitals that have also been considered. The focus of almost all the approaches considered has always been to ensure the comfort of the patients, and their quick recoveries, and to avoid the reoccurrence of the diseases or even contracting other avoidable diseases.

In a community-based approach, the system tends to take advantage of the strength and cohesiveness of the community and its perceived weaknesses to ensure actionable information reaches the people and patients. This approach ensures a low cost of infrastructure is used to reach a very wide area. It is, however, very reliant on the credibility of the medical practitioners leading the initiative (Aveling et al. 2017). When most effective, this approach influences societal norms and behaviors, thereby pouncing on the power of society to shape the behavior of a child through peer influence and normative pressure. This can turn out to be very important in situations when the health of a child is influenced by their everyday practices or behaviors. It is also crucial in cases where there are children in the community who have conditions that lead them to be stigmatized. This approach, however, greatly varies from one community to another and also heavily relies on the members' goodwill.

Another approach recently sort is one that is based on self-help groups. These are groups of approximately ten people to twenty people, mostly found within a community, who pull information and resources to provide mutual support to each other. They are commonly supported and educated by non-governmental organizations that are focused on public health (Prasad et al. 2018). Concerning pediatric patients, these usually are parents or guardians of sick children. During their meetings, the parents with children with specific conditions or diseases get encouraged and taught how to take care of the sick children by different experts who join them and also from the experiences of other parents whose children have gone through the same. This method is more effective for the parents who are consistent in the meetings and practice the discussed and encouraged practices.

One approach that has proved to be very resourceful in the health care approach is making more information public. This can be done through the Internet, conferences, and many other different ways (Blaiss et al. 2019). This approach enables patients or parents of patients to identify and makes it possible for the sicknesses to be managed early enough, thereby avoiding avoidable deaths. This method, when combined with a family-centered approach and other applicable approaches, could lead to even greater success. The family-centered approach should, however, be put as the focal approach as its benefits are enormous (Clay & Parsh, 2016). In this method, medical practitioners are encouraged to be sensitive and respect the patient's and parents' religious and cultural beliefs, and past experiences when suggesting or providing health care (Reijneveld et al. 2017). This is essential to gaining trust and, at long last, providing better services to the patient. When giving the options of treatment or management of the condition, openness is encouraged so that the patient and their parents make an informed and educated decision.

However, the information needs also to be timely, actionable, and specific, depending on the condition. The family-based approach is touted to be the most efficient approach, especially in the case of a pediatric patient, that could enable pediatricians to attain the objective of the healthcare system for their patients (Bohlin & Lillieskold, 2020). This paper, therefore, examines the actionable information that could be provided in this approach to fasten the recovery period of the child or to manage the condition in the best possible way. It also aims to improve or suggest a way to improve the family-based approach to health care.


Medical advice to pediatric patients and their parents may range from one patient to another and do depend on many variables or situations present. This paper major on our dressing code, breastfeeding, oral care, and sleeping techniques. These simple practices may seem very natural or less important to many, but on a closer look, they may prove to be detrimental to the health of a child if not well done. There needs to be a personalized exchange of information from the medics on such topics to parents promptly. It is possible for pediatricians to give new parents such information without the parents having to visit the healthcare facilities through email. Such information could also be made available through the internet at particular sites so that it is possible for the medics to refer the patients and parents to the correct information, making hospitals only necessary in case of any complications observed.

Dressing code.

There is a tiny difference between dressing appropriately and enough and putting on too much or less clothing, especially when dealing with children. One of the most sensitive and special cases is the prematurely born newborn infants. The general advice is that they need to be kept warmer since their bodies might be less developed so as to adapt to the changing temperatures of the environment (Erdei et al. 2019). The necessity of ensuring children are warm enough during the cold seasons, such as during winter, is necessary as, without such actions, the children become easily exposed to hypothermia (Hsu et al. 2018). The family-based gives the medics an opportunity to avoid such cases instead of treating them, hence, saving a lot of resources that would otherwise be used in the treatment of the disease. Providing information on the early signs and symptoms of the disease could also help reduce the severity of the disease and recovery time. This advice can be tailored to fit the situation of the person and their cultural and religious beliefs so that it becomes easier for them to practice it.


The type of food or meals that are given to infants has a lot of effects on their health as they grow up. Some mothers, having been affected by certain myths surrounding the effects of breastfeeding to their bodies and appearance, avoid breastfeeding their kids from a very early stage. They, however, do not have enough information on the effects that such practices have on their children eventually as they grow up. There has bee a call by medical practitioners to regard breastfeeding as a health issue and not a lifestyle. Research has shown that human milk has a lot of advantages on the neurodevelopment of children and that there is a need for children to feed on it until the age of six months before being gradually introduced to other complimentary meals (Di Mario et al. 2019) solely. The introduction of formula feeding increases the health risks to children and therefore needs to be avoided by all means. In special cases such as parents who have HIV, the pediatricians should even be more significantly involved in recommending the types of food they take, while considering certain factors such as financial situations. Such actions that are made possible by family-centered approaches enable those practitioners to be proactive instead of being reactionary.

Oral care.

Oral diseases are one of the most common conditions in the world that is avoidable. The risk of getting various oral diseases such as tooth decay can be significantly reduced by developing certain hygienic practices from childhood. These diseases affect the development of children in certain aspects of their life, such as their general health, their school performances, social lives, and their confidence, among other things. Being that the cost of treating or managing such diseases is high, it negatively impacts the parents economically. Some even decide to let their children live with such discomfort because of the cost and the fact that most governments in the world do not cover that in their respective universal health insurance covers (Benzian et al. 2017). It is, however, possible to avoid all these troubles by regulating or managing the nutrition of the children, encouraging hygiene, and also banning the children from taking tobacco or other alcoholic products. High sugar consumption should be highly discouraged, and foods that have more iron content encouraged so that even if they do not have these diseases while young but are involved in accidents later, their gum and bones can be strong enough to accommodate artificial teeth. All this information should be considered as necessary when the child is still younger, and the best way for that to be administered is through the parents of the children.

Sleeping techniques.

For optimum health and development of children up to the teenage age, sleep is considered one of the essential things. There has been research that recommends the approximate amount of sleep each age group needs to have for their respective development. The research also suggests that care needs to be taken for children who have a tendency of sleeping way less than they should or more than they should as this could lead to diseases hypertension, obesity, and depression as they grow up, and among teenagers, even suicidal thoughts (Paruthi et al. 2016). In case of observations of abnormal sleeping trends among the children, medical advice is to be sought immediately to avoid future complications. To be able to afford the child good quality health and other benefits of enough sleep, the family needs to be very vigilant, well informed on what is normal, and have a close relationship with their health practitioners.


Healthcare practices that were used before were good and were the best they could have done with the knowledge available then. There has, however, been a lot of research done and papers published about different situations that could significantly improve healthcare practices. It is also clear that these suggested practices could lead to better patient experiences.

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