Items in AFP with MESH term: Health Promotion

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Initial Management of Breastfeeding - Article

ABSTRACT: Breast milk is widely accepted as the ideal source of nutrition for infants. In order to ensure success in breastfeeding, it is important that it be initiated as early as possible during the neonatal period. This is facilitated by skin-to-skin contact between the mother and infant immediately following birth. When possible, the infant should be allowed to root and latch on spontaneously within the first hour of life. Many common nursery routines such as weighing the infant, administration of vitamin K and application of ocular antibiotics can be safely delayed until after the initial breastfeeding. Postpartum care practices that improve breastfeeding rates include rooming-in, anticipatory guidance about breastfeeding problems and the avoidance of formula supplementation and pacifiers.


The Proactive Sexual Health History: Key to Effective Sexual Health Care - Article

ABSTRACT: Family physicians must proactively address the sexual health of their patients. Effective sexual health care should address wellness considerations in addition to infections, contraception, and sexual dysfunction. However, physicians consistently underestimate the prevalence of sexual concerns in their patients. By allocating time to discuss sexual health during office visits, high-risk sexual behaviors that can cause sexually transmitted diseases, unintended pregnancies, and unhealthy sexual decisions may be reduced. Developing a routine way to elicit the patient's sexual history that avoids judgmental attitudes and asks the patient for permission to discuss sexual function will make it easier to gather the necessary information. Successful integration of sexual health care into family practice can decrease morbidity and mortality, and enhance well-being and longevity in the patient.


Promoting and Prescribing Exercise in the Elderly - Article

ABSTRACT: Regular exercise provides a myriad of health benefits in older adults, including improvements in blood pressure, diabetes, lipid profile, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and neurocognitive function. Regular physical activity is also associated with decreased mortality and age-related morbidity in older adults. Despite this, up to 75 percent of older Americans are insufficiently active to achieve these health benefits. Few contraindications to exercise exist and almost all older persons can benefit from additional physical activity. The exercise prescription consists of three components: aerobic exercise, strength training, and balance and flexibility. Physicians play a key role in motivating older patients and advising them regarding their physical limitations and/or comorbidities. Motivating patients to begin exercise is best achieved by focusing on individual patient goals, concerns, and barriers to exercise. Strategies include the "stages of change" model, individualized behavioral therapy, and an active lifestyle. To increase long-term compliance, the exercise prescription should be straightforward, fun, and geared toward a patient's individual health needs, beliefs, and goals.


Diabetic Foot Ulcers: Pathogenesis and Management - Article

ABSTRACT: Foot ulcers are a significant complication of diabetes mellitus and often precede lower-extremity amputation. The most frequent underlying etiologies are neuropathy, trauma, deformity, high plantar pressures, and peripheral arterial disease. Thorough and systematic evaluation and categorization of foot ulcers help guide appropriate treatment. The Wagner and University of Texas systems are the ones most frequently used for classification of foot ulcers, and the stage is indicative of prognosis. Pressure relief using total contact casts, removable cast walkers, or "half shoes" is the mainstay of initial treatment. Sharp debridement and management of underlying infection and ischemia are also critical in the care of foot ulcers. Prompt and aggressive treatment of diabetic foot ulcers can often prevent exacerbation of the problem and eliminate the potential for amputation. The aim of therapy should be early intervention to allow prompt healing of the lesion and prevent recurrence once it is healed. Multidisciplinary management programs that focus on prevention, education, regular foot examinations, aggressive intervention, and optimal use of therapeutic footwear have demonstrated significant reductions in the incidence of lower-extremity amputations.


Discharge Procedures for Healthy Newborns - Article

ABSTRACT: Physicians should use a checklist to facilitate discussions with new parents before discharging their healthy newborn from the hospital. The checklist should include information on breastfeeding, warning signs of illness, and ways to keep the child healthy and safe. Physicians can encourage breastfeeding by giving parents written information on hunger and feeding indicators, stool and urine patterns, and proper breastfeeding techniques. Physicians also should emphasize that infants should never be given honey or bottles of water before they are one year of age. Parents should be advised of treatments for common infant complaints such as constipation, be aware of signs and symptoms of more serious illnesses such as jaundice and lethargy, and know how to properly care for the umbilical cord and genital areas. Physicians should provide guidance on how to keep the baby safe in the crib (e.g., placing the baby on his or her back) and in the car (e.g., using a car seat that faces the rear of the car). It is also important to schedule a follow-up appointment for the infant.


An Approach to the Postpartum Office Visit - Article

ABSTRACT: The postpartum period (typically the first six weeks after delivery) may underscore physical and emotional health issues in new mothers. A structured approach to the postpartum office visit ensures that relevant conditions and concerns are discussed and appropriately addressed. Common medical complications during this period include persistent postpartum bleeding, endometritis, urinary incontinence, and thyroid disorders. Breastfeeding education and behavioral counseling may increase breastfeeding continuance. Postpartum depression can cause significant morbidity for the mother and baby; a postnatal depression screening tool may assist in diagnosing depression-related conditions. Decreased libido can affect sexual functioning after a woman gives birth. Physicians should also discuss contraception with postpartum patients, even those who are breastfeeding. Progestin-only contraceptives are recommended for breastfeeding women. The lactational amenorrhea method may be a birth control option but requires strict criteria for effectiveness.


Promoting Medication Adherence in Children - Article

ABSTRACT: The problem of getting children to follow a treatment regimen is widespread and is frustrating for physicians. The extent to which any patient adheres to a medical regimen is an essential determinant of clinical success. Strategies to improve adherence in children include using simplified drug regimens (e.g., once-daily dosing), pleasant-tasting medicines, liquid or other nonpill formulations, regular phone contact between parents and physicians, reminders, information counseling, self-management plans, and other forms of individualized supervision or attention. Physicians also can encourage adherence by providing a dearly written explanation or patient information sheets that list generic and brand names, dosage, schedule, duration, and common side effects and practical ways of coping with them. Physicians, children, and parents should develop a mutually agreed-upon treatment plan. Having the child participate in devising the plan improves adherence.


Strategies for Breastfeeding Success - Article

ABSTRACT: Breastfeeding provides significant health benefits for infants and mothers. However, the United States continues to fall short of the breastfeeding goals set by the Healthy People 2010 initiative. The American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology have policy statements supporting breastfeeding that reflect recent advancements in understanding the mechanisms underlying the benefits of breastfeeding and in the clinical management of breastfeeding. Despite popular belief, there are few contraindications to breastfeeding. Providing maternal support and structured antenatal and postpartum breastfeeding education are the most effective means of achieving breastfeeding success. In addition, immediate skin-to-skin contact between mother and infant and early initiation of breastfeeding are shown to improve breastfeeding outcomes. When concerns about lactation arise during newborn visits, the infant must be carefully assessed for jaundice, weight loss, and signs of failure to thrive. If a work-up is required, parents should be supported in their decision to breastfeed. Certified lactation consultants can provide valuable support and education to patients. Physicians should educate working women who breastfeed about the availability of breast pumps and the proper storage of expressed breast milk. Physicians must be aware of their patients' lactation status when prescribing medications, as some may affect milk supply or be unsafe for breastfeeding infants. Through support and encouragement of breastfeeding, national breastfeeding goals can be met.


Health Screening in Older Women - Article

ABSTRACT: Health screening is an important aspect of health promotion and disease prevention in women over 65 years of age. Screening efforts should address conditions that cause significant morbidity and mortality in this age group. In addition to screening for cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease and cancer, primary care physicians should identify risk factors unique to an aging population. These factors include hearing and vision loss, dysmobility or functional impairment, osteoporosis, cognitive and affective disorders, urinary incontinence and domestic violence. Although screening for many conditions cannot be proved to merit an "A" recommendation (indicating conclusive proof of benefit), special attention to these factors can decrease morbidity and improve quality of life in aging women.


Interventions to Reduce Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Children and Adolescents - Article

ABSTRACT: Certain modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease have their beginnings in childhood. Cigarette smoking, hypertension, physical inactivity, obesity, hypercholesterolemia, hyperinsulinemia, homocysteinemia and poor nutrition in childhood and adolescence may all contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease in adulthood. Identifying at-risk children and adolescents is the first step in modifying or preventing these risk factors. Intervention is most effectively accomplished with an integrated family-oriented approach. Involving the entire family in counseling about interventions to reduce the risk factors for coronary artery disease is important. The family should complete a questionnaire about the family's history and risk of cardiovascular disease. The child, along with other family members, should be given advice on dietary changes to reduce fat intake. Incorporating a cardiovascular health schedule into routine office visits is useful for monitoring the risk of cardiovascular disease and for reinforcing the need to maintain healthy habits.


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