An Evaluation of Health Promoting and Protecting Behaviors APA style with case study

Essay by stl_grrrlUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, November 2008

download word file, 6 pages 3.3

Increasingly, a nurse's role is moving past secondary prevention and towards primary prevention and health promotion. While the importance of prevention of illness cannot be minimized, the initiative to approach wellness holistically is growing. The United States Government is taking steps to help the American public move away from lifestyles solely motivated by health protecting behaviors. Their goal is outlined in the Healthy People 2010 initiative as "developing and implementing policies and preventive interventions that effectively address [individual behaviors and environmental factors to] reduce the burden of illness, enhance quality of life, and increase longevity" (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2000).

According to Pender, Murdaugh, and Parsons, health protecting behaviors are those behaviors that one engages in to "actively avoid illness, detect it early, or maintain functioning within the constraints of illness" (2006, p. 7). These behaviors of health protection are commonly referred to as disease prevention. An example of a health protecting behavior is a woman getting a routine mammogram, or a parent making sure their child's immunizations are up-to-date.

Health promotion goes beyond mere prevention, involving the "desire to increase well-being and actualize human health potential" (Pender, Murdaugh, & Parsons, 2006, p. 7). It is not just the desire to stay free from illness, but an awareness that a human has the potential to grow physically, mentally and spiritually throughout their life that motivates health promoting behavior. "The overall goal of health promotion is the balanced enhancement of physical, mental, and social positive health, coupled with the prevention of physical, mental, and social ill-health" (Downie, Tannahill, & Tannahill, 1997). It is the nurse's charge to help individuals and groups create a climate conducive to change, help with the steps involved with that change, and to facilitate the maintenance of the change in health promoting behavior (Pender...