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 help adolescents with chronic diseases or disabilities make a successful transition to adult health care providers. There is usually a period of co-management during which a child is seen by pediatric specialists and adult providers; and an adult care plan is generally developed by the team to document current diagnoses and therapies, and lay out guidelines for the frequency of medical visits to specialists and primary care providers, the role of each adult provider in the overall care plan, and the frequency of lab studies and other clinical evaluations.
Programs that help people who have a family history or other risk factors associated with a chronic disease such as heart disease and stroke, cancer and diabetes make lifestyle or other changes that can prevent the disease or limit the initial onset. In addition to health promotion activities that encourage healthy living, prevention also embraces early detection efforts, including screening at-risk populations, as well as strong community-clinical linkages to help ensure that people at high risk of chronic diseases have access to community resources and support to prevent, delay or manage chronic conditions once they occur. Some programs may provide preventive care interventions for people who have a broader array of health concerns.
Programs that provide information for psychiatric patients and their families about the individual's diagnosis; the meaning of specific symptoms; what is known about the causes, effects and implications of the problem; treatment and/or management options; and how to recognize signs of relapse so they can seek necessary assistance before their difficulty worsens or occurs again. People work towards recovery by developing better skills for overcoming everyday problems and illness-related issues, developing social support and improving communication with treatment providers. Family psychoeducation includes teaching coping strategies and problem-solving skills to families, friends and/or caregivers to help them deal more effectively with the individual. It improves the knowledge patients and their families have; provides a greater understanding of the importance and benefits of medication; and reduces distress, confusion and anxiety within the family which may, in turn, help the individual's recovery. It is not considered therapy or treatment but rather is designed to stand alone or complement psychotherapy.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.