Preventing asthma and fighting for its advocacy
Chronic diseases are a big problem in the world’s healthcare system, and most providers choose to give short-term care instead of planned long-term care. Some of these diseases, like asthma, diabetes, heart disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, need long-term care, monitoring, and watching. (Kreger et al., 2011) More and more evidence shows how important it is to plan healthcare policies to prevent these diseases instead of relying on short-term care in acute care facilities. As these policies are being made, nurses and the nursing field as a whole can make a big difference in healthcare policy by advocating for them.
Concerns about health
Asthma is a very common disease in the United States, especially in groups of color and those with low incomes. People with the disease use more health care resources and have worse health, which can lead to death at a young age. In 2008, 16.2 million people and 6.7 million children in the United States were found to have the disease. Recently, this number has gone up, and it is now known that more than 339 million people around the world have asthma (Haughney et al., 2020). Even though asthma can be treated well, it is still one of the leading causes of death in the US and takes up to 50% of the resources set aside for asthma management. (Williams et al., 2010) says that in 2007, about $14.7 billion was spent on asthma treatment and another $5 billion was spent because of lost work time. Because of these problems related to asthma, healthcare policies need to be made to reduce factors in the patient, society, healthcare provider, and healthcare system that lead to differences in asthma disease.
Political, social, and economic background is what defines a term.
Asthma is a long-term disease of the lungs that causes inflammation. It causes attacks of shortness of breath and wheezing. The severity of this disease changes from person to person, but worldwide, children are the ones who get it the most. Many low-income groups in the community are hit harder by asthma than other groups. There is a lot of proof that poverty makes it hard to treat asthma well because poor people can’t afford medicine and live in places that make their asthma worse. Some of these social and economic factors are access to health care, cultural beliefs, housing conditions, pollution in the environment, and a person’s social and economic position. Politically, the marginalization of some groups has made asthma much more common. Other factors, such as race, also affect how asthma is treated. Lack of strong asthma management policies and lack of money for disease management also add to the differences that have been seen.
How to Fix the Problem
Different studies have come up with different ideas for how to keep asthma from spreading in the community. For example, the global quality standard for severe asthma was developed with the help of a task group that met in 2019. (Haughney et al., 2020) The first proposed approach was to set up healthcare services so that doctors and patients can talk to each other well. This would help doctors diagnose asthma and prevent future loss of function. Second, doctors and nurses should make sure that people who might have severe asthma are sent to the right place at the right time to avoid death and illness from the disease. The task group also focused on making sure that clinical diagnosis, treatment, and ongoing management of the disease, such as follow-up services, happened as soon as possible. Using these principles, policymakers, doctors, caregivers, and patients must come together and work together to control asthma disease in society.
In recent years, advocacy and the use of already set guidelines by professional groups have become the main ways to treat asthma, especially in children. The Kansas City Children’s Asthma Management Program (KC CAMP) has been around for a long time to help people learn how to handle their asthma. (Williams et al., 2010) The program, which was created in 2001, focuses on methods for improving desired behavior, changing how asthma is treated, and using reinforcements like verbal praise to help improve behavior. Advocacy is another important tool that can be used to solve problems with managing asthma. A study done in 2018 found some problems that disadvantaged groups face that could be helped by lobbying. Harris et al. (2018) say that advocacy can help with problems like not knowing about triggers at home and at work, not having enough information about legal rights for the community, and being afraid of retaliation from companies.
Changes that will affect nursing
For asthma control to get better in a meaningful way, nurses must be in the front lines to fight for and treat the disease well. The first thing the nursing team should do is find the right techniques for each case and use them well. Asthma control is one area where the global quality standard recommends things like health education and the use of community outreach programs. (Kreger et al., 2011) Second, the nurses should work with the community and other experts to push for policies that can lower environmental triggers and make it easier to get asthma care. The nursing teams can join forces with other interested groups to push for new policies that limit exposure to allergens in the environment, improve access to health care in rural areas, and give more money to asthma control across the country. The nursing field can make a big difference in reducing health disparities in asthma control by speaking up for what’s right.
Harris, D. A., Mainardi, A., Iyamu, O., Rosenthal, M. S., Bruce, R. D., Pisani, M. A., & Redlich, C. A. (2018). Improving the asthma disparity gap with legal advocacy? A qualitative study of patient-identified challenges to improve social and environmental factors that contribute to poorly controlled asthma. Journal of Asthma, 55(8), 924-932. https://doi.org/10.1080/02770903.2017.1373393
Haughney, J., Winders, T. A., Holmes, S., Chanez, P., Saul, H., & Menzies-Gow, A. (2020). Global Quality Standard for Identification and Management of Severe Asthma. Advances in Therapy, 37(9), 3645-3659. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12325-020-01450-7
Kreger, M., Sargent, K., Arons, A., Standish, M., & Brindis, C. D. (2011). Creating an environmental justice framework for policy change in childhood asthma: A grassroots to treetops approach. American Journal of Public Health, 101 Suppl 1(Suppl 1), S208–S216. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2011.300188
Williams, D., Portnoy, J. M., & Meyerson, K. (2010). Strategies for improving asthma outcomes: a case-based review of successes and pitfalls. Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy, 16(1 Supp C), 1-20. https://doi.org/10.18553/jmcp.2010.16.s1-c.1
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