Prevention pertains to a wide range of actions that are performed to reduce the occurrence of a specific medical disease. The accumulation of information from both clinical and basic research has generated a large amount of information that assists healthcare professionals in performing their task of caring for patients. For example, the identification of gross, as well as molecular signs of a specific disease helps a physician in the ascertainment of the actual condition of a patient.
In the field of nursing, disease prevention plays an essential role in providing care of the patient, as this results in a reduction of morbidity in the human population. Disease prevention also decreases the amount of healthcare costs that are associated with the diagnosis and treatment of specific diseases. According to Hinton (2008), the employment of various up-to-date medical and molecular approaches “promises to cultivate a paradigm shift in medical treatment emphasizing primary prevention and early intervention.
” Measures of disease prevention are technically divided into three levels. Primary prevention pertains to the first line of actions that are performed to inhibit the development of diseases. One approach for primary prevention is to perform activities that would result in the protection of an individual from a disease. Common examples of these primary prevention measures include immunizations as well as using protective materials for specific areas of the body to prevent possible injury.
Another approach for primary prevention is through the promotion of good health activities such as the establishment of proper hygiene and following a healthy diet. This report will describe primary prevention measures for patients that have been diagnosed with congestive heart failure. CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE AND PRIMARY PREVENTION MEASURES Congestive heart failure is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the human population, affecting almost 15 million individuals around the world. This condition often occurs among individuals of 40 years of age and older.
The occurrence of congestive heart failure is regarded as the most common cause for delivery to the emergency room, as well as for admission to the hospital. The improvements in medical equipment and treatment regimens has resulted in a significant improvement in the survival rate of patients who have developed congestive heart failure, yet there is still a great need to improve the quality of life of these patients in order to prevent future occurrences. A number of primary prevention measures will be described in this report. 1. EXERCISE
Physical exercise has been recognized as one of the primary prevention measures that could improve the quality of life of patients diagnosed with congestive heart failure. The simplest mode of physical exercise is walking, as this enhances blood circulation as well as the respiration of an individual. Unfortunately, the actual impact of this primary preventive measure has been poorly understood and the minimum amount of exercise that should be performed remains undetermined. The usual recommendation of a primary physician is to engage in walking exercises for approximately 30 minutes on a daily basis.
However, the differences in physical exercises, such as walking and other more strenuous activities have not yet been established. In a recent study conducted by Zuazagoitia et al. (2010), approximately 600 individuals positively diagnosed with heart failure were evaluated in terms of the effectiveness of an exercise program that consisted of high-intensity activities and strength training. The exercise program was also introduced to determine whether it resulted in the improvement of the quality of life of these patients.
The study participants of the study came from six primary health institutions around Spain, who were subjected to selection for inclusion according to the Framingham, as well as the New York Heart Association criteria for heart failure. The study participants were randomly assigned to either one of two study groups, one following the standardized care for heart failure, the other one following a combination of standardize health care and exercise. The study participants were monitored at three time points, namely 3, 6 and 12 months from the start of the research study.