Disease Prevention and Management encompass interventions undertaken either at an individual or population level to decrease disease burden and associated risks, including changes to health determinants or behavioral risk factors as well as clinical preventive services.
Some risk factors (e.g. genetic endowment) are modifiable; therefore, policy decisions must be approached with caution.
Preventive care can help patients avoid disease and improve their overall health, and nurses play an integral part in helping communities and individuals make healthy decisions. Not only can nurses encourage physical activity, diet and sleep schedule changes; but they can also promote educational curricula, events and resources which reduce risk factors while increasing protective factors.
The natural history of disease has been broken into five stages: underlying, susceptible, subclinical, clinical and recovery/disability/death. Accordingly, preventive measures have also been divided into four groups: primary prevention, secondary prevention and tertiary prevention.
Primary prevention entails changing health behaviors, reducing risks factors and creating healthier environments through changing behaviour, as well as vaccination and chemoprophylaxis strategies, along with other interventions including vaccinations and lifestyle modifications to promote better health. By contrast, secondary prevention involves early diagnosis through screenings such as pap smears, mammograms or eye exams in order to stop progression to clinical symptoms or decrease morbidity and mortality rates.
Early diagnosis is key in treating any disease effectively and saving lives, which makes early detection essential. Cancer detection in its infancy dramatically improves survival rates; unfortunately most cancers don’t become apparent until advanced stages (stage 4).
Early diagnosis focuses on quickly detecting symptomatic patients while screening involves testing healthy people to detect those with early stage diseases undiagnosed or unrecognized by traditional diagnostic methods. The challenge for early diagnosticians lies in creating sensitive and specific diagnostic tools that deliver improved patient outcomes without leading to overtreatment.
One of the greatest difficulties in this area comes from diseases with high infectivity and transmissibility, where quickly identifying infectious pathogens is of utmost importance – this applies particularly for infections affecting both fetuses and adults alike. Failing to do so promptly could result in large-scale outbreaks that require hospitals, clinics, health workers as well as extensive supplies of medical equipment and drugs to be mobilized and provided promptly to combat outbreaks.
Treatment aims at eliminating disease-causing microorganisms, neutralizing any toxin they produce and restoring normal bodily functions. For instance, diphtheria treatment requires antitoxin administration; and in cholera cases it involves replacing lost water and salts as well as administering bicarbonates to combat acidosis.
Preventing illness and chronic diseases is key to improving quality of life and lowering health care costs, both of which will benefit from health promotion strategies such as modifiable risk behaviors such as unhealthy diets, excessive alcohol consumption and limited physical activity. Health services may also assist by expanding access to clinical preventive services like immunizations/vaccines/nutritional counseling/supplements counseling/dental hygiene education & smoking cessation education services that reduce these risk factors.
Health care systems can increase utilization of effective community-delivered programs through clinician referral and reimbursement through health insurance coverage, including chronic disease self-management programs such as National Diabetes Prevention Program and smoking cessation services. Furthermore, these benefits can be strengthened further by linking them to health care systems.
Rehabilitation services provide essential health benefits to anyone suffering from illness, injury or disability. Rehabilitation can be provided in any setting – primary healthcare centers to hospitals to community-based interventions depending on capacity levels in a country.
Rehabilitation interventions cover a range of activities that span from providing advice and education to prevent further impairments to supporting self-management skills, providing access to assistive devices and aiding everyday participation. Rehabilitation plays an integral part in maximising medical and surgical interventions’ impact and helping individuals reduce ongoing costs for themselves, their healthcare services and family members alike.
Rehabilitation needs are increasing globally due to an aging population, rising incidence of chronic health conditions, ongoing injuries and child developmental conditions; yet the ability of services to deliver rehabilitation remains limited – particularly when they do not integrate preparedness and response initiatives.