The session will cover basic family interviewing concepts and practical applications. The first part of the presentation will briefly review the history of family medicine and the biopsychosocial approach to the longitudinal care of families. We will present information about the benefits of family interviewing in the treatment of chronic conditions and the challenges of such interviewing, given today’s fast-paced primary care environment. Family interviewing requires a special group of skills beyond those of individual interviewing (Campbell, McDaniel, Cole-Kelly, Hepworth, & Lorenz, 2002; Lang et al., 2002).
We will demonstrate longitudinal assessment by exploring a medically oriented genogram of a patient suffering from chronic disease and depression. Conceptual elements and interpretation of the genogram will be explained using this clinical case (McDaniel, 2004). We will encourage participants to engage in small group discussions aimed to developing a game plan for the second interview with the family. Participants will receive a one-page explanation of how to use genograms from a medical perspective and a second page to guide the discussion. This activity will be debriefed as a larger group.
We will also present a developmental learning model for family interviewing focused on family medicine residents (Campbell et al., 2002; Janevic, Piette, Ratz, Kim, & Rosland, 2016; Rosland et al., 2013; Rosland, Piette, Choi, & Heisler, 2011). We will review the foundational elements of these complex skills and the process for developing them. The three foundational elements of this model of care are: understanding family organization, understanding the process and differentiation of content in family communication patterns and finally dealing with relational conflict.. Examples will be presented using videos and case analysis of real interactions that the presenters have had with families. To help the audience understand family organization, we will explore concepts like individualist and collectivist types of family organization and role expectations. During this exploration, we will also include aspects of intercultural communication.
How messages are conveyed is as important as the message itself. We will discuss the process and differentiation of content in family communication patterns. Participants will increase awareness of how the “dance of relationships” impacts the amount of information we get from families and the quality of this information. Further, the role of the provider in the family process will be analyzed.
Finally, we will offer some basic tools to deal with relational conflict. We know that conflict is part of all human relationships, and correct understanding, interpretation, and intervention are keys for a family approach.
After discussion of these components of the model, participants will be divided into groups of 5 or 6 for role play. The goal of this activity will be to apply the concepts in a simulated family dynamic. If time allows, we will include some basics of agenda setting and relationship building with families.