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J Fam Pract. 1987 Apr;24(4):394-8.

The use of the family APGAR in screening for family dysfunction in a family practice center.


The Family APGAR questionnaire was used to determine the prevalence of self-reported family dysfunction present in patients who attended a family practice center, to determine whether knowledge of the Family APGAR score increased the frequency with which family physicians evaluated family functioning and diagnosed family dysfunction, and to determine whether certain psychosomatic complaints associated with family dysfunction were more common in a group of patients with a Family APGAR score of less than 6. To achieve these purposes, all patients entering the center were asked to fill out a Family APGAR questionnaire during the month of March 1984. Physicians learned of the results in a randomly selected one half of all cases. A chart review was conducted one month later. Twenty-four percent of patients reported family dysfunction (APGAR less than 6). Knowledge of the APGAR score did not increase the frequency with which physicians evaluated family function (20 percent known vs 17 percent unknown) or diagnosed family dysfunction (6.3 percent known vs 6.4 percent unknown). Patients with self-reported family dysfunction as defined by the Family APGAR did not have more psychosomatic complaints noted in their charts than patients without self-reported family dysfunction. Family dysfunction is a common problem in family practice patients, it is recorded infrequently in patients' charts, and knowledge of the results of a screening device does not increase the frequency with which family dysfunction is noticed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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