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Family Stress Theory

Decent Essays
Scenario: I was assigned a 47- year old male that has suffered from AIDS for the last 12 years. His CD4 cell count has declined to less than 200 and he is currently fighting infections like thrush, herpes zoster, and tuberculosis. His support system includes his parents and his sister. He has no children and his wife passed away 17 months ago from AIDS.

This illness would not only affect me but also my family. AIDS is a disease process that can be given to other people by the mixing of bodily fluids. Family members would have to always be aware of surroundings and take precautionary measures if bleeding were to occur for any reason. A caregiver would always have to be prepared to provide support and comfort. Discomfort and pain would be
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Chronic illness in a family member causes a great deal of stress on each member. McCubbin and McCubbin in 1989 explain that family members become stronger when faced with hardships or inevitable change. McCubbin and McCubbin define FST as : not only promote family members' health, recovery from illness, or maximum functioning within specific health limitations, but also to support and enhance family strengths, to assist families in maintaining linkages with community supports, and to aid families in arriving at a realistic appraisal of what is the best "fit" for them in their particular situation (1989, p.…show more content…
This model was the most applicable to the situation I was assigned because it provides focus on the entire family. When one is suffering from several chronic illnesses it provides stress upon the other family members. This assessment tool shows that a significant change will affect all family members and that the family must produce balance within the change. One of the most meaningful points used in this model is communication because it provides interaction between one another. For one to provide the support he or she must be able to provide effective communication skills. Wright and Leahey state that balance must be maintained within change and stability (2013). Family development is also a key point in the CFAM because it is very important for the caregiver to understand the different life stages to be able to understand where the family is at that time. Nurses must use critical thinking to assess the family and their current stressors. Finally, the third aspect of the CFAM is assessing family functioning. When a family has a member that is suffering from chronic illness the family functioning pattern must be assessed. This will show the family’s problem-solving skills, lifestyle habits, spiritual beliefs, and daily activities (Wright and Leahey,
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