Health, its maintenance, and restoration are cyclical processes in nature. It is an important, if not a vital pillar of the life of any person. The task of medical specialists is the right choice and effective implementation of preventions to preserve and improve the health of patients in particular and society as a whole. Researchers note that “prevention includes a wide range of activities — known as “interventions” — aimed at reducing risks or health threats” (“Primary, secondary and tertiary prevention,” 2015). The purpose of this paper is to explore and analyze three fundamental types of prevention, namely, primary, secondary, and tertiary.
It is no secret that medical specialists and doctors implement public health policies and interventions. From the perspective of daily lifestyle, they contribute to improving the physical health of people (Braakhuis, 2019). One of the most effective public health interventional practices is cycling. According to Götschi et al. (2016), “based on a large body of evidence, planners, health professionals, and decision-makers can rest assured that benefits from cycling-related physical activity are worth pursuing.” (p. 45). The healthcare institution keeps up with the times and addresses the digital realm of life. The mobile health apps remind people of the need for exercise or taking medicine (Poyyeri, 2016). They also monitor the health parameters of patients and users.
Primary prevention includes four main types of medical practices. One of them is the legislative prohibition or restriction of malicious products, materials, additives, or elements, such as asbestos (Marsili et al., 2016). Medical specialists can also oblige people to carry on a healthy and safe lifestyle. An example of it is Vitamin D supplementation for pregnant women and infants to prevent allergies (Yepes‐Nuñez et al., 2018). Primary prevention also includes education on a healthy lifestyle. These include sexuality education as a measure to avoid the perpetration of sexual violence (Schneider & Hirsch, 2020). It is important to note immunization is another primary preventive practice. For example, the Hepatitis B virus immunization precludes the spread of this disease condition (Teo & Lok, 2019). These are major and most commonly used primary prevention measures in healthcare.
Secondary prevention also has a categorization in terms of practices. Secondary prevention measures include regular exams and screening tests. Secondary preventative measures include regular exams for the presence of diseases such as cardiovascular disease, especially in blue-collar workers (Welch et al., 2017). Medical specialists prescribe daily doses of aspirin (Stuntz & Bernstein, 2017) or a specific diet to patients in such cases (Rees, 2019). It is worth noting the screening testing used to detect cervical cancer (Basu et al., 2018). “Workplace-based return-to-work (RTW) interventions,” namely lifestyle or work modifications, for “musculoskeletal conditions” are also one of the secondary preventive measures (Cullen et al., 2018). As can be seen, this type of preventive practice is most often used in cases of cardio-related diseases.
The type of tertiary prevention has three main medical courses. One of these measures is rehabilitation programs that are used, for example, in cases of occupational skin diseases (Andrees et al., 2020). Tertiary prevention also includes chronic disease management. This measure is often applied if the patient has chronic rhinosinusitis (Hopkins, 2019). Support groups can also be attributed to tertiary prophylaxis since their given intervention is commonly used in patients with mental disorders such as suicidal tendencies (Westefeld, 2019). As well as secondary prevention measures, tertiary medical practices are long-lasting.
It is very important to understand a specific situation and conditions to undertake the necessary type of prevention. Medical specialists consider the primary type of prevention as a series of practices aimed at preventing the perpetration of an injury, illness, or infection (“Primary, secondary and tertiary prevention,” 2015). Therefore, essential measures and activities should be taken in a situation where patients are healthy, but there is a constant threat to their health.
The goal of secondary prevention measures and programs is different from the objective of the primary type. Researchers note that doctors resort to secondary prevention when a patient has had a disease or has already suffered an injury (“Primary, secondary and tertiary prevention,” 2015). Secondary prevention practices are aimed at recurring cases of disease conditions and return people to their everyday lifestyle and standard body functionality.
Tertiary medical prophylaxis in its structure is similar to measures of the secondary type; namely, this also has a long duration. It is important to note that it is because “people manage long-term, often-complex health problems and injuries (e.g. chronic diseases, permanent impairments)” (“Primary, secondary and tertiary prevention,” 2015, para. 4). The objective of this category of prevention is to minimize the effect of an injury or disease and restore the functionality of the human body.
This work explores the primary, secondary, and tertiary categories of medical prevention and answers several critical questions. The study examined the impact of public health policies and interventions on people’s daily lives based on examples. The author also discussed the situations and surroundings corresponding to each intervention and highlighted the most common and major disease conditions. Many scientific sources have been reviewed and analyzed for this work.
Andrees, V., John, S. M., Nienhaus, A., Skudlik, C., Brans, R., Augustin, M.,… ROQ‐Study group. (2020). Economic evaluation of a tertiary prevention program for occupational skin diseases in Germany. Contact Dermatitis, 82(6), 361-369.
Basu, P., Mittal, S., Vale, D. B., & Kharaji, Y. C. (2018). Secondary prevention of cervical cancer. Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 47, 73-85.
Braakhuis, H. E., Berger, M. A., & Bussmann, J. B. (2019). Effectiveness of healthcare interventions using objective feedback on physical activity: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, 51(3), 151-159.
Cullen, K. L., Irvin, E., Collie, A., Clay, F., Gensby, U., Jennings, P. A.,… Newnam, S. (2018). Effectiveness of workplace interventions in return-to-work for musculoskeletal, pain-related and mental health conditions: an update of the evidence and messages for practitioners. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, 28(1), 1-15.
Götschi, T., Garrard, J., & Giles-Corti, B. (2016). Cycling as a part of daily life: a review of health perspectives. Transport Reviews, 36(1), 45-71.
Hopkins, C. (2019). Prevention of chronic rhinosinusitis. In P. A. Mahesh (Ed.), Implementing precision medicine in best practices of chronic airway diseases (pp. 79-89). Academic Press.
Marsili, D., Terracini, B., Santana, V. S., Ramos-Bonilla, J. P., Pasetto, R., Mazzeo, A.,… Algranti, E. (2016). Prevention of asbestos-related disease in countries currently using asbestos. International Journal of Environmental Research And Public Health, 13(5), 494-512.
Poyyeri, S. R., Sivadasan, V., Ramamurthy, B., & Nieveen, J. (2016). MHealthInt: Healthcare intervention using the mobile app and Google Cloud Messaging. In 2016 IEEE International Conference on Electro Information Technology (EIT) (pp. 0145-0150). IEEE.
Rees, K., Takeda, A., Martin, N., Ellis, L., Wijesekara, D., Vepa, A.,… Stranges, S. (2019). Mediterranean‐style diet for the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (3), 1-125.
Schneider, M., & Hirsch, J. S. (2020). Comprehensive sexuality education as a primary prevention strategy for sexual violence perpetration. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 21(3), 439-455.
Stuntz, M., & Bernstein, B. (2017). Recent trends in the prevalence of low-dose aspirin use for primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease in the United States, 2012–2015. Preventive Medicine Reports, 5, 183-186.
Teo, E. K., & Lok, A. S. (2019). Hepatitis B virus immunization in adults.
Yepes‐Nuñez, J. J., Brożek, J. L., Fiocchi, A., Pawankar, R., Cuello‐García, C., Zhang, Y.,… Schünemann, H. J. (2018). Vitamin D supplementation in primary allergy prevention: Systematic review of randomized and non‐randomized studies. Allergy, 73(1), 37-49.
Welch, L. S., Dement, J., Ringen, K., Cranford, K., & Quinn, P. S. (2017). Impact of secondary prevention in an occupational high-risk group. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 59(1), 67-73.
Westefeld, J. (2019). Suicide Prevention and Psychology: A Call to Action. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 50(1), 1-10.
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