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Appalachian families, family, family health, family routines, routines



  1. Denham, Sharon A. DSN


Although rituals are considered in the anthropological and sociological literature, less attention is given to associated biophysical and health perspectives. Three ethnographic studies were conducted to identify the ways family health was defined and practiced. Findings indicated that routines were an important aspect of family health. Families described routines linked to family health and discussed how they evolved, ways they were modified over time, and how families recreated them when stress and change were encountered. Findings indicated that routines provide a structural perspective for assessments, interventions, and outcome evaluations related to health and useful to nursing practice. This article explains some of what is known about family routines, describes the author's findings, and suggests implications for nursing.