Health promotion is broken down into three categories: primary, secondary, and tertiary. Primary prevention is health promotion aimed at preventing disease processes. This is done by educating patients on ways to maintain their highest level of health. Primary prevention education is aimed at topics like proper nutrition, immunizations and vaccinations, exercise, and smoking cessation. Secondary prevention is targeted at preventing the progression of disease processes once acquired. This is achieved through early detection and intervention. Health promotion education at the secondary prevention stage is aimed at educating patients, especially those with increased risk factors, on available screenings such as eye exams, hearing tests, mammograms, or colonoscopies. With tertiary prevention the goal is to reduce the consequences of disease processes once they are acquired. This is done through patient education regarding rehabilitation programs or management of illnesses (Dhhs.tas.gov.au, 2019).
The common element among all categories of health promotion is patient education with a goal of maintaining whole health at its highest possible level. Health promotion mat need to cover more than one level at times however, focusing patient education on the level of health promotion that applies to the patient at that time increases patient focus on the education being provided since the patient can relate to the information. This leads to improved education retention levels among patients since unnecessary information has been removed by the educator. Determining the appropriate level of education also enables the nurse to spend more time with the patient discussing an organized structure of information centered on the patient’s current level of health and strategies to optimize overall health.
Dhhs.tas.gov.au. (2019). Health promotion across all stages of wellness and disease | Working in health promoting ways. Available at: https://www.dhhs.tas.gov.au/wihpw/overview_of_health_promotion/health_promotion_across_all_stages_of_wellness_and_disease. 16 Jan. 2019.
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