Genogram and Ecomap for Family Nursing Assessment – Best Student’s Essay

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Introduction

A genogram depicts inter-generational family maps to provide a picture of what is occurring across families and across generations, providing a broad framework with which to view family, emotional and social relationships. (Keneddy.V.2010). Whereas in the ecomap, systems with which the family has no contact may also be included, if the family needs to develop a relationship with the system.

These tools are graphic representations of family structure and social relationships which helps nurses to do a successful family nursing assessment which results in identifying health problems in the family from generations and providing interventions.

Components of Genogram:

The family genogram is a format for drawing a family tree that records information about family members and their relationships during at least three generations (McGoldrick, 2016). The genogram gives a graphic representation of the family composition and the basic relationships in at least three generations, elaborated through symbols.

It helps nurses and families to think systematically about families and the impact of health-related issues on family structure and function and be able to plan for interventions. Nurses establish a therapeutic relationship with the families through the process of asking questions by using a family nursing assessment to identify health problems and help in family therapy. 

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An example of a genogram is illustrated in figure 1. Male is noted as square and female is noted by a circle. Marriage is represented by a line connecting the two (husband and wife). Children are noted as oldest to youngest, left to right. Plus, the symbol inbox or circle represents physical illness as shown in figure 1. Both fathers have diabetes type II and Uday and his mother is suffering from hypothyroidism which passed from generation to generation.

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Components of Ecomap:

Ecomap is a graphical representation that shows all the systems at play in an individual’s life. It is a flow diagram that maps family and community processes over time. It helps the family assessment tool consisting of a graphic representation of a family relationship with its environment.

They provide a visual map of the family’s connections to the external world. Each individual family member’s connections to social support systems. An example of an ecomap is illustrated in figure 2. The lines between these circles represent assessments of the quality and flow of the relationships between these systems. A solid line represents a strong relationship, such as the lines connecting Uday and Raghu’s extended family and with Sree’s brother’s family and Uday’s sister’s family.

Zig-zagged line shows a stressful or conflictual relationship. A stressful relationship is seen between Uday and Sree’s work environment. Families differ in their ability to accept help from others outside of the family system.

Each family has a boundary that defines those who are part of the family and distinguishes these people from those who are not part of the family. By considering these boundaries nurses could analyze what and who are the supportive sources to the family.

Assessments

Family nursing assessment:

           Nurses collect accurate data of the families by using Family nursing assessment incorporating genogram and ecomap as a collective tool to identify health problems and plan the interventions. It also gives direction for nurses whether they have obtained enough information on problem and strength identification, or whether gaps exist that require additional data (Kaakinen.J,2018). The family nursing assessment is done by step by step which Uday family information have been gathered by the following steps.

Assessment of the family story:

Analysis of the family story:

         Uday family story shows that their family life has changed due to his hypothyroidism. Uday was found to be healthy but he gained weight. His family history has diabetes to his father and mother is suffering from hypothyroidism. Sree’s father is also diabetic and she is risk to get in future.

 Uday is taking the medication regularly but he needs to do exercises. Uday and sree having difficulty adjusting and the shift in their family roles, more concerned about adjustment to the new baby.

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Family intervention:

         The nurse together with Uday and Sree, review the family genogram (figure 1) which helps the couple visualize the family. Uday decided to do exercises and diet modification to reduce his weight. Uday and sree will talk with his sister family about sharing childcare.

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Genogram and ecomap for family nursing assessment
Genogram and ecomap for family nursing assessment

Family evaluation:

         Yvonne plans a follow-up call to check in with Uday and Sree. At the next visit, Yvonne will check Uday and Sree to see whether their priority concerns remain the same or decreased or increased. She will observe how they are caring the baby (bath and feeding).

Nurse reflection:

         Yvonne reflects herself that her therapeutic communication in data collection by using tools was excellent. She showed a validated family concern for a weight gain of Uday how this stresses the family.

Conclusion:

The genogram and ecomap both framed as an analytical tool in relation while performing family nursing assessment, which aims to understand how the family of a young person with chronic disease and new addition to the family, faces the disease and its implications, forming care, and creating support networks to help them through this process.

 References:

  • Gobinda. M., Sadananda. R., Muralidhar.D.(2017). The use of family genogram in psychiatric social work practice. Open journal of psychiatry and allied sciences. Retrieved from https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/d15a/d9963a686f469cdf071fce9b7d0ccee5a8bc.pdf?_ga=2.224035803.1525343668.1569690468-518617493.1569690468
  • Kaakinen, J. R., Coehlo, D. P., Steele, R., Steel, R., & Robinson, M. (2018). Family health care nursing. Theory, practice and research (6th ed.). Philadelphia: F. A. Davis.
  • Kennedy.V.(2010). Genograms. Athabasca university library and scholarly resources. Retrieved From http://0eds.a.ebscohost.com.aupac.lib.athabascau.ca/eds/detail/detail?vid=1&sid=   548fa4d2- 6ce0-4540-a6b6-da8de9c4ca88%40sdc-v ses smgr01 &bdata= JnNpdGU9Z W RzLW  xp dmU%3d#AN=56631298&db=sih
  • Lucila.C.N., Isa. R., Raquel D.A., & Debora.F.(2014). Genogram and ecomap: brazilian nursing contributions. Scientific Electronic Library Online. Retrieved from http://www.scie lo. br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0104-07072014000100211
  • McGoldrick. (2016). The Genogram Casebook: A Clinical Companion to Genograms: Assessment andIntervention. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company: https://doi.org/10. 1111 /j mft.12315
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Related FAQs

1. What is an ecomap in nursing?

Ecomap is a graphical representation that shows all the systems at play in an individual’s life. It is a flow diagram that maps family and community process over time. It helps the family assessment tool consisting of a graphic representation of a family relationship with its environment.

2. What is genogram and ecomap?

A genogram is a graphic portrayal of the composition and structure of one’s family and an ecomap is a graphic portrayal of personal and family social relationships.

3. Why are Ecomaps important?

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Unlike genograms, ecomaps are a very important tool in being able to tell us who a child or young person sees as important to them, who their close relationships are with and how they view the adults around them.

4. Which tool best depicts the family’s relationship with other institutions?

The ecomap, also called a sociogram, is a visual assessment tool depicting the relationships between a family and its social network. As the name signifies, therapist and client together map out connections between the family and its ecological environment.

5. How are the genogram and ecomap helpful in understanding family problems or situations?

Genograms and ecomaps are tools to help us gain as much information as possible about the perspective, context, and frame of reference of the families of children in kinship foster care. The genogram is a tool for collecting information about the family’s structure and the family’s caregiving patterns over time.

6. What do you learn from an ecomap?

Eco-maps are a visual map of a family’s connections to the external world. They provide a useful tool for assessment of family, social and community relationships and highlight the quality of these connections.

7. What do arrows mean in ecomap?

In a family ecomap or any type of relationship ecomaps, these lines indicate a stressful and negative relationship. In some cases, such lines are broken to indicate the source. Single lines: Arrows have a blunt end and a pointy end.

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