Updated: 12/29/2021

Disease Prevention

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  • Disease Prevention: Individual Level
    • 1° (Primary prevention) 
      • prevent disease occurrence
        • e.g., vaccination
    • 2° (Secondary prevention) 
      • early detection of disease to either prevent or decrease morbidity from disease before onset of symptoms
        • e.g., colonoscopy
    • 3° (Tertiary prevention) 
      • reduce morbidity from disease after symptom onset
        • e.g., medication
    • 4° (Quaternary prevention) 
      • reducing harm by identifying patients who are at risk for unnecessary treatment, overmedicalisation, harm from new interventions, and suggest new interventions which are ethically acceptable
        • e.g., not spending money on things that do not work or recommendation of preventive measures of proven efficacy
  • Disease Prevention: Community Level
    • Also known as primordial prevention
    • Prevention at the community level involves promoting the health of entire populations and avoiding health risks altogether
    • Social and economic policy-making
      • cigarette, soda, or other taxes
      • smoke-free cities, buildings, and restaurants
      • investments in public transportation and schools
    • Health education
      • public health campaigns surrounding smoking, alcohol, diet, and exercise
    • Environmental interventions
      • promoting green space
      • reducing pollution
    • Addressing health care disparities

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