Community Health Advocacy Project On Disease Prevention.
Disease prevention may involve integrating several programmes and activities in order to reduce health risk that is facing human beings (Kenney, 2002). Over the years, health professionals have been experiencing challenges on how to prevent diseases. The challenges motivated them to come up with disease prevention models. The three level prevention frameworks have proved to be of great help to the health professionals in dealing with diseases like hypertension and other many chronic diseases. The effectiveness of the model, normally depend on the extent at which individuals take responsibility in ensuring that, they are not exposing themselves to health hazards. Additionally, for a three level prevention model to be effective and efficient, all the stake holders must collaborate with the health care practitioners and the government (Lundy & Janes, 2009).
Description of a three levels prevention model.
The three levels of a disease prevention are; Primary level, Secondary Level and Tertiary Level. At primary level, disease is inhibited from development before it occurs. While at secondary level, also known as screening level, measures to detect the disease are undertaken before a disease become symptomatic. At this stage, treatment can be successful if proper measures are undertaken. Lastly, there is tertiary level; in this level, measures are put in place to ensure that people already infected by a disease continue to live. This is done by reducing the resultant disability that may be brought by a disease as well as ensuring functionality is being restored. And, therefore, at this stage actual treatment is being administered (Gochman, 1988).
How the three levels of disease Prevention can be applied.
At this level, implementation starts before a problem develops. This level, therefore, focuses on preventing a problem from occurring in the first place. For example, hypertension at this level may be prevented by making changes in life style. To prevent hypertension one need to ensure weight loss if one is obese. One should also ensure that, the amount salt intake is low. This is because, salt retain a lot of water in the body and hence increasing the blood pressure (Lundy & Janes, 2009). Fatty food should be avoided because they contain high level of cholesterol that builds plaque in the arteries causing hypertension. Smoking should also be eradicated. Additionally, a person should do regular physical exercises; this will helps to increase bloods circulation in the body. One should further increase consumption of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables contain essential minerals such as potassium, magnesium and calcium that help the heart to function properly (Lundy & Janes, 2009).
This level is implemented before signs and symptoms appear but after a problem has begun. At secondary prevention, a problem is detected and treatment starts as early as possible (Norwood, & Norwood, 2003). For example, hypertension. It may be detected based on a test and symptoms such as; shortness of breath with exertion, fatigue, chest pain, dizzy spell, decrease exercise tolerance and fainting. At this stage, early treatment may be administered depending on the type of high pretension one has. This is because some types of high pretension may resist drugs and may require therapy (Swanson & Nies, 1997).
This level of prevention is normally implemented after a disease has occurred. It involves managing the disease and preventing it from getting worse. For example, hypertension may be managed or prevented from getting worse by, visiting your doctor for treatment and advice. Taking recommended medicine, eating food that contain nutrients for proper heart functioning. Additionally one should avoid self exposure to other disease which may compromise the body immunity system (Lundy & Janes, 2009).
Millo’s Framework for Prevention.
This model of prevention was developed by Nancy Millo.The main concept of this model is Community, Population and Health care. According to millo, behavioural pattern of individuals who make up the population is as a result of habitual selection from limited choices (Kenney, 2002). Millo challenged the notion that, the main determinant for unhealthy behaviour choice is as a result of lack of knowledge. This model further suggests that, the natural history of any disease exists on a continuum, with health at one end and disease on the other end (Lundy & Janes, 2009). Additionally, Millo’s model delineates itself from the three levels of prevention measures. The model has been defined into four levels, those level include; primordial prevention, primary prevention, secondary prevention and tertiary prevention (Norwood & Norwood, 2003). At primordial level, children are prevented from adopting harmful life style; while at primary prevention, actions are taken prior to the onset of the disease. At secondary prevention, actions that halt the progress of a disease are taken to prevent further complications. And finally at tertiary level, all measures to reduce impairment and disability are undertaken.
Prevalence of Hypertension in elderly population.
The number of Elderly population in the united state has been growing at an alarming rate. The increase may be attributed to the improved standards of living and decrease in mortality rate. Elderly people are defined as persons within the age bracket of 65 years and above. According to the Unite states census Bureau, 2009 statistics, there are an approximate 12.8% people in the united state with 65 years and above (Sinclair., Pathy. Morley. & Vellas, 2012). This also brings an increase in number of people with diseases that come together with an advanced age. Hypertension being the most prevalent one. According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (2011), there are 64%men and 69.3%women between the age brackets of 65 to 74years suffering from hypertension in the United States. Additionally between the age bracket of 75years and above there are 66.7%men and78.5% women suffering from hypertension. The statistic further indicates how hypertension has become prevalent among the elderly population in the United States and how it can be prevented.
Importance of Treating Elderly Patients with Hypertension.
It is very crucial to treat elderly population at an early stage in order to prevent other complications which may a rise as a result of high pretension. Evidence shows that, hypertension contributes to the worsening of kidneys over time. This further leads to kidney diseases if, immediate actions are not taken. Hypertension can lead to even more serious complications such as heart diseases and stroke. Patients can die of heart attacks and stroke even when the kidney diseases is at its early stage (Lundy & Janes, 2009).Therefore, it is essentiary fundamental to ensure that, elderly patient who are diagnosed with hypertension receive adequate treatment in order to prevent further complications that may arise.
Risk factors associated with hypertension in Elderly Population.
Scientific evidence shows that, high blood pressure poses greater risks of heart diseases and strokes in the elderly patients as compared to the young population. Studies further demonstrate that, if blood pressure is not reduced there is a possibility of strokes deaths, heart attacks death and even heart failure. The Society of Geriatric Cardiology Recommends that, individual with 65 years and above should have a regular blood check. The society further advice people who are diagnosed with hypertension should take there prescribed medication and plays an active role in there treatment by modifying their life style (Lundy & Janes, 2009).
Therefore, the three level prevention models have proved to be of great importance to all stakeholders and health practitioners in disease prevention and management. This is because; the model has been well defined into three levels of prevention and hence making it easier to deal with a problem at each level. On the other hand, Millo’s model delineates itself from a three level prevention model by coming up with four levels of prevention. Though Millo Model is still applicable, the three level prevention models still remain to be a useful tool in disease prevention and management. The above discussion has further brought forth the prevalence of hypertension among the elderly population in the United States. The importance of treating the elderly population as well as the risk factors associated with failure for early treatment among the elderly population.