Definition of Health and Levels of Prevention

Definition of Health and Levels of Prevention

Definitions of Health and a List of the Three Levels of Prevention

Generally, health denotes the condition of being stable physically, socially, and mentally, and lacking any form of the disease. However, there are several definitions of health, depending on the different sources. According to Evans & Stoddart (2017), health is the degree to which a person or society can recognize ambitions and satisfy desire hence efficiently coping up with the environment. Also, health can be the state of being secure in body, mind, and spirit and free from any form of injury or sickness.


People ought to prioritize health safety through embracing prevention measures with the urge to shun away from the various illnesses predominating the world (Baguma, 2017). There are mainly three levels of prevention available to the human population. Firstly, there is primary prevention which entails being on the forefront to avoid health problems through protection measures, before their occurrence. An example includes seeking vaccination (Nies & McEwen, 2014).

Secondly, there is secondary prevention that significantly deals in interventions which enable sickness detection, diagnosis, and treatment; the prevention includes screening cancer. The last level of prevention is tertiary prevention, which seeks to correct and prevent of worsening of an ailment state. A case example contains sensitization about the administration of insulin while at home (Nies & McEwen, 2014).

Discussion of the Public Health Nursing Interventions as Explained by the Intervention Wheel

There are several public health nursing interventions described by the intervention wheel. Such interventions include surveillance, which involves explaining and monitoring health incidents through organized assemblage, evaluation, and interpretation of health information. Disease investigations collect and assess data on population health threats, determines the threat source, and finally identifies practical control measures. The outreaching population at the risk of specific health threats and providing them with necessary information on how to handle the problems at hand is also a useful intervention (Nies & McEwen, 2014).

Screening detects unknown health risk issues among individuals, especially the ones with disease conditions, but there are no visible signs and symptoms. Case finding traces populations infected with risk factors and finds necessary resources for them. Referral and follow-up is also an intervention that helps the community at large to locate relevant resources for them to avoid or solve the problems effectively. Case management boosts the self-care competences among persons to organize and offer vital services to them. Delegated functions intervention allows a registered health expert by law to execute care tasks to the affected population (Nies & McEwen, 2014).

Definition of Health and Levels of Prevention

Both health teaching, consultation, and counselling are public health interventions that utilize facts, expertise, ideas, attitudes, beliefs, among other aspects to assist persons, families, and the community at large to find solutions to the societal health challenges. Collaboration, coalition building, and community organizing collectively develops and promotes collective goal accomplishment; in this case, the common goal is usually to mobilize resources to aid in the promotion of health substantially. Advocacy is an intervention where an individual appeals an act on behalf of another person to build their capacity to plead their own. Social marketing utilizes marketing values and technologies to impact the beliefs, understanding, feelings, behaviours, and practices of the population of interest. Also, there is policy development and enforcement that plan and enforce laws, rules, and resources that control health-related decisions (Nies & McEwen, 2014).

Community Health Assessment Process and Usage of Epidemiological Data in the Nursing Process

According to Nies & McEwen (2014), community health assessment incorporates the windshield survey technique, which primarily entails a series of activities. Firstly, there is attaining a better understanding of the environmental design within the community and selecting potential zones of environmental concern. The next useful step is to assess the sources of data, and examination of the demographic data, which, in turn, presents descriptive information concerning the societal population.

Finally, the needs assessment aspect follows; it entails understanding the community perspective, interviewing the crucial informants through using forums, and following the twelve steps which ultimately leads to developing an action plan that meets the community health needs. The assessors can derive population data from the census information, National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), government reports, and through locally conducted data.

Comparison of Historical Health Problems Aspects between the 20th Century and 21st Century

Past scientists applied various concepts to address the major health problems; such concepts included finding medical approaches through developing theories and also the establishment of medical schools. Regarding the 21st century, there have been advances in promoting vaccination and antibiotics programs. Public health efforts have evolved since the 15th century throughout the present 21st century. It includes the establishment of the renaissance theory involving Leeuwenhoek and Elizabethan scientists, development of germ theory that concentrated on diagnosis and cure of diseases, and also the present government interventions to address various medical conditions (Nies & McEwen, 2014).

The recent issues affecting the public health nursing include inadequate medical schools to provide training to students who in turn, can qualify later on and serve the community. Again, there are insufficient health care investments to cater for the population. Hypertension is also a threatening health issue affecting the United States (U.S) community today (Heirich, 2019).


Baguma, D. (2017). Public health safety and environment in inadequate hospital and healthcare settings: A review. Public health, 144, 23-31.

Evans, R. G., & Stoddart, G. L. (2017). Producing health, consuming health care. In Why are some people healthy and others not? (pp. 27-64). Routledge.

Heirich, M. (2019). Rethinking health care: innovation and change in America. Routledge.

Nies, M. and McEwen, M. (2014). Community/Public Health Nursing: Promoting the Health of Populations. 6th ed. Saunders

second peer.

Definition of Health and Levels of Prevention

There are different definitions of health from a public health nursing practice, all of which have their similarities and differences. One of the similarities in all descriptions is that health involves physical mental and social wellbeing of individuals. One must show wellbeing in these three areas for them to be considered healthy. One of the differences is that some definitions consider the absence of disease as part of health and wellbeing while definitions consider the ability to recover from illness as vital to the description of health.

There are three levels of prevention in health. First is primary prevention which involves deterrence of the contraction of a disease. Examples include vaccination of diseases like measles and maintenance of positive lifestyles like good eating habits and exercise. The second level is secondary prevention which involves the early detection of illness and its treatment to avoid the severity of the disease. An example is the screening of diseases like cancer. The final level of prevention is tertiary prevention. According to Dahl and Clancy (2015) tertiary prevention level involves the reduction of the negative impact of existing disease and efforts to make patients live a more comfortable life by managing the symptoms. An example is chronic disease management of conditions like arthritis and diabetes.

.Community/ Public Health Interventions As Explained in the Intervention Wheel

The intervention wheel identifies several useful community interventions. Among them is community organizing which seeks to increase participation of community members in health promotion. The community is in involved in decision making by identifying key issues that affect their health and ways of addressing them. Another intervention is coalition building. Here community members come together as a group to address specific health issues that affect them and achieve a common goal of improving their health status.

Surveillance is also among the interventions included in the intervention wheel relevant to public health. Surveillance involves continuous gathering, analysis, and interpretation of health information. The data s used to monitor health events and to develop, implement, and evaluate health intervention (Clark, Raffray, Hendricks & Gagnon, 2016). Another related intervention is outreach. Outreach involves identification of populations affected by a specific health issue, transferring knowledge to them about the health concern, letting them know what they can do about it and what services are accessible to them to improve their health status. Case finding is also a community health intervention in the intervention wheel. Case finding involves identifying populations of individuals and families who are predisposed to specific risk factors and linking them with the services they need.

3.Steps in Conducting a Community Health Assessment and the Use of Epidemiological Data in Each Step

The first step in conducting a community health assessment is the identification and engagement of the community. The evaluation begins with knowing the community and forging relationships that will help in creating a rapport and gaining support from the society. Epidemiological data contains demographics which are useful in understanding the organization and demographics of the community. Second is to conduct the needs assessment. This step involves gathering data from the community members to identify different community health needs. Epidemiological data is useful in identifying risk factors affecting the health of the community members.

The third step is to analyze, review, and rate the data. Here, the most pressing community health needs are identified. Epidemiological data is helpful as it offers insights on the history of the diseases which completes the clinical picture. The other step is to develop a community action plan which entails strategies of improving the health of the community members. Epidemiological data provide an overview of past approaches that have worked in other setups and could be assessed to determine their suitability for the current community as well.

4.Application of Public Health Principles in the 20th and 21st Century and the Major Health Issues Facing Public Health Nursing

Most of the challenges encountered in the 20th Century included the sudden onset of diseases like pneumonia, diarrhea, and tuberculosis. The public health principle of preventing diseases helped to pioneer solutions, including sanitation, hygiene, vaccination, and antibiotics. At the beginning of the 21st Century, some of the significant health issues included cardiovascular diseases. The principle of prolonging life helped in developing solutions like early screening and management programs for chronic diseases.

One of the contemporary issues facing public health nursing is chronic diseases. The onset of the 21st Century marks a period when cardiovascular diseases were recognized as a significant issue across different societies worldwide and not just in developed nations. Another issue affecting public health nursing is gun violence that threatens the safety of individuals in public spaces. The issue dates back to the 1980s when a spike in gun violence against human life was witnessed.


Clark, M., Raffray, M., Hendricks, K., & Gagnon, A. J. (2016). Global and public health core competencies for nursing education: a systematic review of essential competencies. Nurse education today, 40, 173-180.

Dahl, B. M., & Clancy, A. (2015). Meanings of knowledge and identity in public health nursing in a time of transition: interpretations of public health nurses’ narratives. Scandinavian journal of caring sciences, 29(4), 679-687.

Definition of Health and Levels of Prevention

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