Health and Health Promotion Theory Paper
Professor Pinky A Noble-Britton
In 2007, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published the 31st Annual Report on the Health Status of the Nation that identified that the health status of Americans is declining (Health, United States, 2007). The report recognized an increase in the prevalence of unhealthy lifestyles and behaviors, specifically physical inactivity and obesity. Physical inactivity and obesity are risk factors for the development of cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, Type 2 diabetes, and some forms of cancer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that 70% of all deaths and a majority of limitations of daily living activities in the United States are the results of chronic diseases. Many of these diseases are either preventable or manageable by adopting healthy living practices (CDC June 2, 2008). Never before has health promotion been more important than it is today. Nurses in education, practice, and research settings can participate in the advancement of health promotion not only to the mainstream but to the forefront of nursing practice (King, 1994). Historically, nurse educators have taught patients how to manage illness; in the future, the focus must be on teaching people how to remain healthy. Nurses must have an evidence-based understanding of the significant effect that can be made through health promotion interventions and communicate this understanding to the public at large. As more people grow in their awareness of activities that lead to good health and become knowledgeable about their own health status and the health of their families, the overall health of the population will improve (King, 1994). Health
Health is an elusive term. It is a term that many people think they understand until they are asked to define or describe it and then asked how they would measure it. It has been described as a value judgment, as an objective state, as a subjective state, as a continuum from illness to wellness, and as a utopian state. Florence Nightingale wrote that health is “not only to be well, but to be able to use well every power we have to use.” Peplau defined health as “Forward movement of the personality that is promoted through interpersonal processes in the direction of creative, productive, and constructive living (Lyon, nd).” Health Promotion
A definition of health promotion is “any planned combination of educational, political, environmental, regulatory, or organizational mechanisms that supports actions and conditions of living conducive to health of individuals, groups and communities” (Joint Committee, 2001, p.24). Health promotion, disease prevention and chronic disease management are proactive approaches to health care that stress prevention at different points along the health care continuum. Health promotion and disease prevention strategies focus on keeping people well and preventing diseases from occurring. These strategies are referred to as primary prevention activities. Secondary and tertiary prevention activities focus on maintaining the health of individuals with chronic conditions, delaying progression of their conditions, and preventing complications (Maben & Clark, 1995).
Health Promotion Theories
In developing nursing a professional discipline, nursing educators and researchers have developed theoretical frameworks for the clinical practice of nursing that are used by clinical nurses as models for testing and validating applications of nursing knowledge and skills. The results are added to a body of knowledge commonly called the theory of nursing. Peplaus theory defines nursing as a “significant, therapeutic, interpersonal process.” Peplaus states that four components make up the main elements of the nurse-patient relationship: the orientation phase, the working phase, and the resolution...
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