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There are three levels of prevention in health promotion. The levels are primary, secondary, and tertiary. Educating the patient is important in each level of prevention.

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Primary prevention is for those who are in good health. Falkner (2018) states “Primary prevention occurs before the onset of illness or injury and may involve preventative treatments, such as vaccinations and wellness exams, to prevent the contraction of illness” (para. 23). It involves vaccinations, health promotion, and educating the patient on ways to prevent illness or disease. Primary prevention aims to arm individuals and communities with information to be able to make educated decisions.

Secondary prevention is for those who are at risk of developing a health problem. Falkner (2018) states “Secondary prevention focuses on the early detection and treatment of disease processes before they progress and cause irreparable damage” (para. 24). This level of prevention involves screenings, identifying and controlling risk factors, and taking the necessary actions as early as possible. For example, mammograms and colonoscopies are secondary prevention measures. By identifying risk factors and problems early on the patient can start treating the problem before it progresses further.

Tertiary prevention is for those who have already been diagnosed with a disease or illness that has caused permanent damage. Falkner (2018) states “The focus of this level of prevention is to help the patient achieve some semblance of normalcy and acclimate back into their lives and society” (para. 25). This type of prevention may involve rehabilitation, home health care, and educating the patient and family on ways to prevent further complications. For example, stroke rehab is considered to be tertiary prevention.

The level of prevention helps to determine the educational needs of the patient. The education provided is tailored to each individual patient. The nurse must provide health promotion strategies and measures that will benefit the patient at that given time.


Falkner, A. (2018). Grand Canyon University (Ed). Health promotion: Health & wellness across the continuum. Retrieved from https://lc.gcumedia.com/nrs429vn/health-promotion-health-and-wellness-across-the-continuum/v1.1/#/chapter/2


In the past, the concept of health was described as the absence of the disease. The concept of health/ illness was influenced by religion and sometimes illnesses were associated with supernatural causes as punishments. Evil spirits were linked to someone’s environment (their background). Health has changed in current days, and it consists of complete physical, mental, social wellbeing; an individual’s self-realization and self-fulfillment. Wellness, illness, and overall well-being have evolved, in that the health industry now focuses on preventing diseases. We have and continue to achieve stages that include intellectual, social, emotional, physical, and spiritual health leading towards the optimum level of functioning.

As mentioned, health promotion was introducing as prevention rather than a disease being presented. Of course, diseases present themselves, but we strive for patients to take better care of themselves to avoid diseases. Health promotion then becomes part of public health science to create policies for better practice and stimulate through education to develop healthier habits and choices of lifestyle, reach optimal health goals. They include health screenings, pregnancy controls, vaccinations, and proper nutrition, etc. (Falkner, 2018).

Health promotion interventions are the actions, making real using expertise and studies creating the model called evidence-based practice. These practices help health care providers access what causes diseases as well as establish the best available care with the goal to improve the patient outcomes. The nurse’s role focuses on health promotion as being an advocate and to deliverer care/services, care manager, educator, and researcher. An example is; pregnancy control has been proved to have a better outcome with deliveries and healthier babies As a result, communities become more aware of health risks and acquire tools and knowledge to control diseases and more participative to prevent them (World Health Organization, 2018).


Falkner, A. (2018). Health Promotion: Health & Wellness Across the Continuum. Health Promotion in Nursing Care. Retrieved from https://lc.gcumedia.com/nrs429vn/health-promotion-health-and-wellness-across-the-continuum/v1.1/#/chapter/2

World Health Organization (WHO). (2011). Policy and partnership for health promotion action addressing the determinants of health. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/83/12/editorial31205html/en/

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