Programs that provide counselling services for individuals at risk for contracting or transmitting the HIV virus with the objective of supporting their ability to make behaviour changes that will reduce their risk of acquiring or transmitting HIV. Counselling involves a personal risk assessment, development of a personalized action plan and the decision to seek an HIV test. Individuals who have a history of injection drug use, sex with a person with HIV/AIDS, sex with a man who has sex with other men, sex with an injection drug user, a sexually transmitted disease, or exchanging money or drugs for sex are considered to be at high or increased risk and are targets for prevention counselling.
Programs that help cancer patients, accident victims, burn patients and others with temporary or permanent conditions that affect their features, cope with the appearance-related effects of their illness, injury, disability or treatment regimen by teaching them cosmetic techniques that will help restore their appearance and self-image. Services may include workshops, literature and information about make-up, hair alternatives, skin and nail care as well as wig, scarf, hat and turban demonstrations (for cancer patients coping with the side-effects of chemotherapy and radiation) or suggestions regarding appearance enhancement options available to people with other types of challenges. Participants may receive cosmetics donated by the cosmetic industry that they can use at home.
Programs that provide information about cognitive/learning aids, control and signaling aids, daily living aids, hearing augmentation aids, mobility aids, prosthetic/orthotic/seating devices, recreational aids, speech aids, and/or visual/reading aids which enables potential users to evaluate their alternatives and make informed choices.
Programs that provide training for individuals who have physical or sensory limitations and/or for their caregivers which focuses on the care and utilization of the particular type of assistive technology product they require and changes the devices might require in their lives. Assistive technology training may deal with cognitive/learning aids, computer access aids, assistive technology software, control and signaling aids, daily living aids, hearing augmentation aids, mobility aids, prosthetic/orthotic/seating devices, recreational aids, speech aids and/or visual aids.
Health care programs that provide multidisciplinary education, training and support regarding recommended therapeutic regimens, medical procedures and self-care for adults, adolescents and/or children who have undergone surgery or who have chronic conditions (such as diabetes, asthma/COPD, kidney disease/ESRD, heart disease/hypertension and AIDS) that require ongoing management, and/or for family members who may be involved in their care or affected by their condition. The objective of these programs is to empower patients to manage their own chronic conditions in partnership with their health care providers. Chronic disease self management assistance may be provided in a variety of settings including classes/workshops, individual counselling sessions and as home-based services, particularly in situations where conditions in the home have an impact on the individual's illness. Chronic diseases are illnesses that are prolonged, do not resolve spontaneously, and are rarely cured completely.
Programs that provide information about the causes and origins, preventive measures, symptoms, screening/diagnostic procedures, and/or methods of treatment or management including the latest research for specific illnesses or disabling conditions.
Programs that instruct the public in the basic lifesaving techniques involved in the administration of emergency assistance to individuals who have been injured or otherwise disabled prior to the arrival of trained medical personnel.
Programs that provide information that helps the public make choices which promote personal health, prevent illness and disability, take advantage of opportunities for early detection, and support their ability to deal effectively with health problems when they arise. General health education programs provide information about a wide variety of health related topics rather than specializing in a particular area.
Programs that publish information about health and residential care facilities (including hospitals, dialysis facilities, home health care agencies, nursing facilities and supportive housing for older adults and people with disabilities) that helps consumers compare the facilities in their area and choose the option that best meets their needs. Some programs limit their comparisons to treatment that is related to specific conditions, e.g., heart attack, heart failure or pneumonia.
Programs that provide information about specific health care treatment options and/or different philosophical approaches to general medical practice, e.g., conventional medicine, alternative therapies and approaches that combine conventional and alternative options in different ways.
Programs that provide an opportunity for people to visit their community hospital, either as a part of a scheduled field trip or with their parents prior to scheduled admission, in order to relieve anxiety associated with a visit to the hospital for surgery, illness or in an emergency situation. Visitors become acquainted with the sights, sounds, people and events they are likely to encounter after admission. The orientation may include an audiovisual presentation that explains what happens when a person is hospitalized, a tour of the hospital, an opportunity to become familiar with medical equipment and a question and answer session.
Programs that help people with HIV infections, AIDS, hypertension, diabetes, epilepsy, renal disease or other chronic illnesses with complex treatment plans, improve and sustain adherence to their medication regimen by providing educational interventions that teach the importance of maintaining one's treatment regimen, techniques to manage side effects and drug interactions, and the use of strategies and devices such as pill boxes to organize timing for the self-administration of many different prescribed medications.
Programs that conduct a review of the prescription and over-the-counter medication and other substances (e.g., herbal remedies, vitamins and other supplements, illegal drugs) that people are taking, and answer any questions they may have about their medications or their medication regimen. The reviews address a number of issues including appropriate therapeutic uses of particular substances; adverse side effects; interaction/reaction with foods and other drugs; product identification and availability or equivalency; safety when used by children, pregnant or breastfeeding women or older adults, many of whom may have multiple prescriptions; and outcomes. The objectives of the program are to support the individual's ability to self-administer medications as prescribed and to ensure their safety and well being, particularly in circumstances where their medication regimen is complex.
Programs that provide information concerning the basic principles of healthful eating, food handling, food preparation and shopping skills. Included is information about the basic food groups, vitamin and mineral requirements, the relationship of nutrition to the preservation of good health and the prevention of illness, and dietary choices such as vegetarianism.
Programs that provide information about dental health and hygiene (including the importance of brushing and flossing, using dental sealants, the benefits of fluoridation, avoiding sugary foods and getting regular checkups) which encourages the public to make choices that help them avoid cavities, gum disease or other oral health problems and improve their overall well being. These programs may also provide general information about oral health problems (such as oral cancer, teeth grinding, periodontal disease and bad breath) and associated treatment options; education and outreach regarding the importance of oral health care for women who are pregnant including information about the relationship between gum disease and preterm and low birth weight babies; and fact sheets or other materials which address oral health issues such as community water fluoridation as a preventive measure, use of bottled water, oral health nutrition, cosmetic dentistry/tooth whitening, oral piercing, dental anesthesia, dental benefits/insurance, choosing a dentist, and oral health for specific populations (such as children, adolescents, pregnant women, older adults or people with diabetes).
Programs that provide information that improves the public's understanding of organ and tissue transplantation, its history, current legislation pertaining to donation, the behaviours and diseases that lead to organ failure and the need for a transplant, the types of organs/tissue that can be donated, the organ donation process, the impact of organ and tissue donation on the lives of those who receive these gifts and the consequences of organ and tissue shortages. The purpose of most organ/tissue transplant education programs is to increase the number of people who actually become donors, answer frequently asked questions and provide basic information about how to obtain a donor card and become a part of the program. Some education programs may focus on particular target populations such as minorities.
Programs that promote the benefits of an active lifestyle and encourage people of all ages to participate in regular physical activity as a means of improving health, preventing disease and enhancing the overall quality of their lives. The programs may be tailored for specific populations such as children, adolescents, older adults, employees or people with disabilities; and generally explain why physical activity is important, offer suggestions regarding easy ways to integrate physical activity into a daily routine (such as taking the stairs, going for a walk or parking further away than one usually does), describe specific benefits that can be experienced (such as building strong bones, strengthening muscles, maintaining flexibility, achieving and maintaining ideal weight, maintaining cardiovascular health, meeting new friends and improving physical self-esteem), and provide guidelines for the type and level of activity that is required to develop and maintain fitness or achieve other health-related goals.
Programs that provide emergency information, usually on a 24-hour basis, for medical personnel or others who may need to take immediate corrective action to treat an individual who has been poisoned or to prevent such an occurrence.
Programs that provide information about vaccines and the illnesses they prevent, laws related to vaccines and exemptions (i.e., immunization requirements for schools, colleges/universities, preschools and child care facilities as well as the conditions under which individuals can request exemptions, usually medical contraindications and reasons of conscience including a philosophical or religious belief), recommended immunization schedules for people of different ages, vaccine safety concerns (e.g., potential side effects), statistics on immunization coverage and disease incidence and/or access to official vaccine information statements that explain to vaccine recipients, their parents, or their legal representatives both the benefits and risks of a vaccine which are handed out whenever certain vaccinations are given. Information may also be available about groups that advocate for reform of policies relating to vaccination requirements and their agenda; and topics of special interest such as travel vaccines, bioterrorism, vaccinations and pregnancy, and immunization recommendations for health care workers.
Programs that offer individual and/or group sessions which assist participants to understand how their lifestyle impacts their physical and mental health and to develop personal practices that enhance their total well-being. Wellness programs are holistic and combine a variety of components which may include a general physical examination that is tailored to the individual's needs; an evaluation of the person's pattern of exercise, eating habits, sources of stress and other lifestyle elements that are potential risk factors; and the development and implementation of an individualized plan for prevention management and early intervention to optimize health and performance which may include physical fitness sessions, nutrition counselling, stress reduction techniques, biofeedback, practice in assuming responsibility for one's choices, and other specific measures for avoiding physical and mental health problems.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.