Health Promotion

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), health promotion “enables people to improve control over the determinants of health and as a result to improve their own health, and able to make healthy choice” (Denise and Suzanne, p. 87). Historically, health promotion deal with protecting society from contagious disease, such as to providing safe water and reduce environments hazards, and treat of preventable disease rather than preventing them. Conversely, the contemporary health promotion is aimed to increase the society’s awareness of healthy prevention, improve their quality of life and reduce health care budget.

Health promotion range from smoking cessation to diagnostic and screening test, injury prevention, and chronic diseases management. There are three levels of prevention can be applied to health promotion, which are primary, secondary, and tertiary. Primary prevention is cheapest method to prevent disease or injury by increase the health awareness of individuals, families and society, an example of primary prevention is smoking cessation. Secondary prevention is to take diagnostic testing or screening in order to treat disease at the early stage if needed, such as diabetes, Pap smear test, mammogram screening and colonoscopy.

Tertiary prevention actually is to treat disease has already been detected and prevent recurrence of condition. This paper will discuss the purpose of health promotion, and the role of nursing in health promotion process. The purpose of health promotion is to increase public health awareness and wellbeing; decrease preventable illness and health budget. One of the most preventable disease such as diabetes, it is relevant costly. According to American Diabetes Association estimated annual cost of Diabetes at $245 billion (American Diabetes Association, 2013).

The risk factors are genetics, excess weight, ethnicity, age, hypertension and hyperchloremia, ect. Prolonged hyperglycemia can affect the function of individual’s vascular, nerve system and major organs, such as heart, renal as well as slow healing process. Diabetes can be prevented through a healthy lifestyle, such as healthy food choice, participate in physical activates regularly and weight loss or maintain healthy weight will defiantly reduce the chance of get diabetes. Diabetes is an example of all three level of health prevention.

Primary prevention is to make the public to aware the disease and prevent it happening. Diabetes’s risk factors are the indicator to all individual, and one is responsible for their own health to lower blood lipids and reduce consumption of fatty food and saturated fats, weight loss and regular exercise, ect. As mentioned above, secondary prevention is to detect a disease at an early stage. Therefore, individual who has more than 3 risk factors should be encouraged to take diagnostic test periodically, the early intervention can be implemented before it causes health problems if disease has diagnosed.

Tertiary prevention is to impede further damage that has resulted from a serious disease or injury. It can also be applied to diabetes, individuals who developed complications need to be monitored and also trained to manage the condition to slow the disease process. Medication compliance and diet control are very important in managing diabetes. In addition, emotional and social support needs to be considered as well in the assessment phase, because client may unable to accept the fact that the disease has been detected. Family and caregiver need to be involved in the care to support client especially in the transition phase.

To promote health in this stage, comprehensive information regarding this disease need to be discussed with client and his or her needs and preferences need to be respected and included in the plan of care. Nurses work in diverse health care settings, such as in schools, hospitals, communities and as the front line, which provides us the great opportunities to promote health to all level of population. There are many factors affecting one’s health, such as physical, psychosocial, economic status and educational level.

Generally speaking, individuals with higher educational and income are more vulnerable to accept health messages. Individuals with low income and less social support may have limitation on health prevention and positive lifestyle changing. As the front line of health professional, we need to fully understand individual’s health needs, and aware the barriers to implement health promotion.

Assessment always comes first in nursing process, physical examination is not the only aspect we should look at, environment, social and community support, emotional, culture and learning readiness are also impact on individual’s perspective toward health promotion and health decision making. It is also necessary for all medical personal to assess individual’s culture, beliefs and past experience on health promotion. Those elements are as well as influence individual’s attitude and action towards health promotion.

Understanding one’s view of health promotion and disease prevention helps guide us to what information the client will need. Therapeutic communication is important during the assessment, open-ended question approach will allow patient to fully express their concerns and challenges. A good initial assessment will facilitate nurses to develop the plan of care easily, and allow nurses to pick the right method to ensure the information is clearly delivered to clients.

ReferencesAmerican Diabetes Association (2013). American Diabetes Association Releases New Research Estimating Annual Cost of Diabetes at $245 billion. Retrieved 3/7/2013, from Bennett, C., Perry, J., & Lawrence, Z. (2009). Promoting health in primary care. Nursing Standard, 23.47, 48-56. Denise, F., Suzanne, G., & Chris, R. (2010). Health Promotion and Secondary Prevention. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 21, 86-91.