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Clarifying Family as Context of Care and Family as Focus of Care in Family Health

  • By: Colleen I. Murray & Christine M. Aramburu Alegría
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

Families are intricately involved in health-related care. In fact, one of the primary purposes of family is to ensure the health and well-being of its members. A study of 138 family physicians and 4,454 directly observed visits found that a family member was present in nearly one third of visits. Seventy-two percent of established patients reported that multiple family members see that same doctor. There are at least two health care approaches that focus on families: A family history approach uses family information as a background in care of the patient but does not delve into family problems and issues; in contrast, a family orientation style views the family as the unit of care, includes multiple family members, and addresses family issues during health care ...

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