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Prevention and Wellness

Explore epidemiology as it relates to the role of physical therapy in primary care.

Many conditions and illnesses are genetic, others are caused by a less-than-ideal lifestyle, lack of physical activity, and poor nutritional behavioral patterns. In this course, you’ll focus on screening and risk reduction so you can develop exercise programs that promote health and wellness, and prevent injury and disease.

As you come to understand leading health indicators, you’ll learn to identify changes your patients can make to promote wellness. You’ll evaluate several behavioral-change models can including trans-theoretical, lapse-relapse, and health promotion—each of which can successfully improve health.

In your practice, you’ll use a variety of preventative services and tools, including the use of screening procedures. Epidemiologic principles usually influence the screening and prevention procedures and protocols you choose for individual patients. You’ll learn to apply these principles to help you make decisions regarding the appropriateness and timing of screening interventions.

Socioeconomic status, gender, age, race, and access to health care can have a substantial impact on wellness, interventions for health promotion, and the potential for success of these interventions. As you analyze determinants of health in relation to risk factors, you’ll evaluate ways to use a developmental framework to analyze health promotion, risk, and screening protocols across the lifespan.

Over the years, many physical therapists have developed an appreciation for the powerful relationship between mental health and physical health and wellness. You’ll explore the role of the physical therapist in treating patients with mental health issues. You’ll also consider the relationship between stress and health promotion, healthy behavior, and health-related quality of life.

Sample Topics

  • Health promotion from a multidisciplinary perspective
  • Models of behavioral change
  • Screening protocols
  • Determinants of health
  • Mental health, focus on depression
  • Stress and its relationship to health promotion
  • Guide to health fitness and wellness

Sample Assignment

After identifying two clinical screening tools, you’ll write an evidence-based paper that will address characteristics of each, its clinical utility, and more.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Examine theories of health and dimensions of wellness across the lifespan.
  2. Apply concepts of behavior management to health, wellness, and injury/disease prevention programs for patients/clients across the lifespan.
  3. Plan physical therapy interview, screening, and examination to identify elements of family history, medical/surgical history, risk factors, and co-morbidities to plan preventions, interventions, and referrals that promote wellness for patients/clients.
  4. Conduct screening examinations to determine levels of health and wellness.
  5. Propose referrals to professionals and community agencies to address patients/clients’ modifiable health risks.
  6. Formulate prognoses for patients/clients based on natural history of disease, epidemiology, and extrinsic and intrinsic factors.
  7. Develop plans of care to achieve outcomes based on evidence that prevent health problems and promote wellness.
  8. Model risk reduction strategies through personal example.
  9. Integrate concepts of health behavior management, including motivation, behavior modification, and locus of control when planning wellness promotion programs.
  10. Create a plan to provide community services that reduce risk of injury and disease for diverse age and ethnic groups.
  11. Select prevention and intervention strategies and procedures to promote wellness that incorporates evidence-based practice.
  12. Examine the role that core values/ethical behaviors and professional communication play in relation to conflict resolution, negotiation skills, and networking.

Programs that include this course