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Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Intervention
The aim of primary prevention is the prevention of injuries or diseases before they occur. Primary prevention takes place through the prevention of exposures to hazards that may lead to injury or disease. Primary prevention can take place at both the individual and communal level. Primary prevention takes place at the communal level in the form of enforcement and legislation to control the use of products that may not be safe for the community. For example, the use of asbestos may be banned in a community because it contains microscopic fibers that can transmit airborne diseases (Kessler & Albee, 2016). The community can also mandate the use of bike helmets and other healthy practices. At an individual level, primary prevention can be through eating well and other safe habits.
Secondary prevention aims to reduce the effects or impacts of an injury or disease that has already taken place. Secondary prevention occurs through detection and testing of the injury or disease as soon as it takes place to slow down its progress. Secondary prevention entails personal strategies that prevent recurrence or re-injury and is motivated by the need to make the affected return to original health. Long-term problems that may occur from the injury are prevented by secondary means. Screen tests and regular examinations are important methods of secondary prevention in detecting disease.
Tertiary prevention aims to soften the effect of an ongoing injury or illness with no present treatment. Tertiary prevention takes place in conditions with lasting effects hence only serve to reduce pain to the person. Tertiary prevention is done to assist an individual cope with complicated health problems, long-term diseases, and injuries. The other objectives of tertiary prevention are to improve the life expectancy and the quality of life of the affected and also improve their functionality. An example of tertiary prevention is cardiac rehabilitation initiatives for individuals affected by depression.
Kessler, M., & Albee, G. W. (2016). Primary prevention. Annual review of psychology, 26(1), 557-591.