Enhancing Health Promotion for Individuals with Disabilities

Categories: DiseaseHealth

Health promotion involves empowering individuals to enhance their health through personal involvement and supportive surroundings. However, individuals with disabilities often encounter obstacles that hinder their participation in such efforts. These barriers may include a lack of understanding about modifying programs to accommodate specific needs, negative attitudes, and unwelcoming environments. Despite advancements in medical care that have extended the lives of people with disabilities, there is insufficient emphasis on enhancing their overall quality of life. Many individuals with disabilities struggle with ongoing secondary problems like pain, fatigue, restricted mobility, obesity, and depression - primarily because of inadequate health promotion approaches in their surroundings.

Smith stresses the importance of investing in healthcare resources for individuals with disabilities, addressing their primary disability and potential secondary complications. Preventing these conditions is crucial, as is prioritizing the overall well-being of people living with disabilities who face lifelong challenges. Health promotion initiatives not only reduce premature mortality and healthcare costs for the general population but also enhance quality of life and independence for individuals with disabilities reliant on maintaining their health for their well-being.

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There is a growing belief that individuals with disabilities can improve their health just like anyone else, leading to an increased demand for quality health promotion programs designed specifically for this population. It is crucial for people with disabilities to prioritize their health and well-being, as limitations related to their primary impairment (such as neurological dysfunction) may hinder their ability to engage in behaviors that promote good health. This could result in a higher risk of developing secondary conditions, encompassing various physical, medical, cognitive, emotional, or psychosocial issues that individuals with disabilities are more vulnerable to due to their underlying impairment.

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Ultimately, these factors can impact their overall health, well-being, participation, and quality of life.

The paper discusses health promotion for individuals with disabilities, emphasizing exercise, nutrition, and health education. It introduces a service delivery model that connects rehabilitation with community-based health promotion. Studies indicate that many individuals with disabilities do not engage in enough physical activity to maintain good health and prevent conditions like heart disease, obesity, and osteoporosis. Rimmer's research reveals that less than 10 percent of adults with physical disabilities participate in structured physical activity programs due to different obstacles.

The main obstacles to exercise include transportation, program costs, and uncertainty regarding where to work out. Messent notes that individuals with developmental disabilities encounter challenges such as ambiguous policy guidelines, limited transportation options and staffing resources, financial constraints, and a lack of fitness programs in their local areas. While external factors can hinder participation in physical activity, internal barriers also present difficulties.

Kinne discovered that exercise self-efficacy and motivation are crucial in predicting the continuity of exercise among a group of adults with disabilities. Health disparities involve differences among various groups of individuals, affecting disease prevalence, incidence, and mortality rates. Disparities impact diverse populations from varying backgrounds and situations.

• People from racial and ethnic minority groups, residents of rural areas, women, children, the elderly, and individuals with disabilities

Many individuals, including those with disabilities, are interested in improving their nutritional habits. However, there may be differences in diet and nutrition guidelines for people with specific types of disabilities. Concerns such as accessing healthy foods, understanding food interactions with medications, and establishing unique requirements for supplements are significant among individuals with disabilities. For instance, those with spinal cord injuries have a higher risk of osteoporosis due to increased bone loss post-injury. Studies have also shown a greater prevalence of osteoporosis in individuals with cerebral palsy and Down syndrome. Increasing the recommended daily intake of calcium and vitamin D may be necessary for certain types of disabilities to counteract this bone loss; however, specific guidelines are currently unavailable and there is limited data supporting this idea.

Research is urgently needed on various disabilities with a higher risk of bone loss to evaluate the effects of exercise and supplements like calcium and vitamin D in slowing down or preventing this condition. Health education can empower individuals with disabilities to manage their health, such as those with depression, manic depression, and schizophrenia working closely with healthcare providers for medication management. States offer education programs on communication, coping with mental illness, cooking, cleaning, hygiene, and job training to assist individuals in transitioning from unemployment to employment.

Despite progress being made, discrimination against disabled individuals persists among those who lack understanding of mental illness and fail to provide adequate support. Poverty remains a significant challenge in Belize, with one-third of the population living below the poverty line and lacking essential health and education services. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved a $15 million loan to help Belize enhance basic health care, secondary education, and social protection programs as part of the government's National Poverty Elimination Strategy. In rural areas such as the Toledo district, 79% of the population is considered poor and 56% are classified as indigent.

"The IDB stated that the funds will aid government efforts to boost enrollment in the National Health Insurance (NHI) pilot program, specifically targeting the most vulnerable sectors. Additionally, the funds will safeguard budget allocations from 2009-2010 to ensure NHI coverage remains at 95% for south-side Belize City and 84% for the Southern Region. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is actively working to address barriers to mental health care faced by various minority populations, including African American, Asian American and Pacific Islander, American Indian, and Latino/Hispanic communities. NAMI is forging national partnerships and strategies to tackle this crisis. There is a growing focus on enhancing the quality of healthcare services in the United States, with an emphasis on improving access for all individuals to achieve optimal care."

2. Developing treatment plans that are suitable and incorporate expertise from various disciplines. 3. Ensuring a workforce with adequate numbers and qualifications. 4. Establishing consensus on quality indicators for healthcare.

5. Responsible practices and follow-through are crucial for patients. A study on premature infants underscored the significant expense of hospitalization and stressed the need to improve prenatal care for high-risk women. Enhancing outcomes for these infants is vital. Further initiatives are necessary to enhance the well-being of individuals with disabilities and chronic health conditions. Health promotion involves empowering individuals to manage their health and enhance it, necessitating active involvement and a supportive setting.


References for health promotion for individuals with disabilities:
1. Rimmer JH, (1999). Health promotion for people with disabilities: the emerging paradigm shift from disability prevention to prevention of secondary conditions Physical Therapy. 79(5), 495-502.
2. Ravesloot C, Seekins T, Young Q, (1998). Health Promotion for People with Chronic Illness
and Physical Disabilities: The Connection between Health Psychology and Disability Prevention Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy. 5, 76-85.
3. Thierry JM, (1998). Promoting the health and wellness of women with disabilities. Journal of Women's Health. 7(5), 505-507.
4. Stuifbergen, Alexa K., PhD, RN, Heather Becker, PhD, and Dolores Sands, PhD, RN, (1990). Barriers to health promotion for individuals with disabilities Family & Community Health.
5. Smith RD, (2000). Promoting the health of people with physical disabilities: a discussion of the financing and organization of public health services in Australia Health Prom Int. 15, 79-86. 13(1), 11-22.
6. Belize to receive IDB funds for health, education. (2009, Oct 07). BBC Monitoring Americas. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/460151112?accountid=32521

Updated: Feb 21, 2024
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Enhancing Health Promotion for Individuals with Disabilities. (2017, Feb 12). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/barriers-to-health-promotion-and-disease-prevention-essay

Enhancing Health Promotion for Individuals with Disabilities essay
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