Programs that evaluate an individual's postural alignment, functional reach, standing balance and ability to go from sitting to standing to walking as a means of identifying personal risk factors for falls. Information regarding exercises that may improve balance and tips for avoiding falls may also be provided.
Programs that measure the pressure existing in the large arteries at the height of a pulse wave and identify individuals whose blood pressure is higher than normal, and who are thereby susceptible to strokes and other conditions that are related to hypertension.
Programs that offer any of a variety of tests which are used to identify people who have some form of cancer which, if caught in an early stage, may be treated with a higher probability of success.
Programs that examine the type and level of fatty substances in the blood as an early indication of coronary heart disease. Cholesterol is a soft, waxy substance found among the lipids (fats) in the bloodstream and in all body's cells. It is an important part of a healthy body because it is used to form cell membranes, some hormones and is needed for other functions. Cholesterol and other fats cannot dissolve in the blood. They have to be transported to and from the cells by special carriers called lipoproteins including low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). High levels of LDL cholesterol can build up in the walls of the arteries that feed the heart and the brain and form plaque, a thick hard substance that can clog the arteries. HDL tends to carry cholesterol away from the arteries back to the liver where it is passed from the body. Triglycerides are the chemical form in which most fat exists in food as well as in the body. They are also present in blood plasma and, in association with cholesterol, form the plasma lipids.
Programs that offer a variety of tests to establish the presence of Alzheimer's disease, Pick's disease or other conditions which involve loss of memory, deterioration of intellectual functioning, disorientation and other similar symptoms.
Programs that provide dental examinations to detect tooth decay and periodontal problems, and oral hygiene information; but which refer out for cleaning, fillings, extractions and other necessary dental care.
Programs that administer tests which determine whether an individual has diabetes, a disorder in which the pancreas produces too little insulin with the result that the body in unable to adequately metabolize sugar.
Programs that evaluate the motor and cognitive functioning of elderly individuals or people with disabilities to determine the person's ability to drive. Some programs may also recommend vehicle modifications that will enable the individual to continue to drive.
Programs that conduct comprehensive workplace evaluations to identify ergonomic risk factors and determine the most effective strategy for controlling or eliminating the potentially harmful effects of force, repetition, awkward postures, static positions, contact stress, vibration and cold temperatures. The evaluations consider work activities, repetitive movement patterns, work station design, workplace seating, work tools and equipment and the posture of workers.
Programs that assess the current ability to function of people who have disabilities and prescribe or recommend the most appropriate assistive technology product to meet their individual needs including communication/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.
Programs that offer screening procedures that identify people who have targeted eye diseases or vision deficiencies that may require further examination.
Programs that evaluate an individual's feet to detect deformities, corns, calluses, bunions, heel spurs, hammertoes, neuromas, plantar warts, ingrown toenails, fungal infections, lesions, areas with loss of sensation or other foot problems. Some foot screenings focus specifically on people with diabetes who often have problems with the nerves and circulation in their feet which can lead to wounds and, in severe cases, amputations, but many are open to all.
Programs, generally staffed by an interdisciplinary team comprising a geriatrician, a nurse, a social worker and a pharmacist, that evaluate the functional ability, physical health, cognitive and mental health and socioenvironmental situation of older adults, particular those who are frail or chronically ill, to identify health-related problems, develop plans for treatment and follow-up, coordinate care, determine the need for long-term care, and ensure the optimal use of health care resources. Beneficial outcomes may include greater diagnostic accuracy, improved functional and mental status, reduced mortality, decreased use of nursing facilities and acute care hospitals and increased satisfaction with care.
Programs that offer hearing threshold tests for the purpose of identifying individuals whose ability to perceive sound falls outside the normal range. People who fail the screening test need an in-depth evaluation by an audiologist.
Programs that administer tests which identify individuals who have been exposed to hepatitis A, B or C by detecting the presence of associated antigens, antibodies or genetic material (DNA). Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver caused by a variety of agents including viral infection (hepatitis A virus, hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus and delta agents), bacterial invasion and physical and chemical agents. Hepatitis A and delta agent hepatitis are spread primarily from person to person via the fecal-oral route, but may occur by contact with water or food contaminated by the virus. Hepatitis B and C are spread by blood and serum-derived fluids and by direct contact with body fluids. Depending on the type of hepatitis involved, screening may be particularly recommended for persons who have traveled or worked in countries with high rates of infection, sexually active homosexual men, injecting and non-injecting illegal drug users, persons who work with infected primates in a laboratory setting, persons with chronic liver disease, persons with clotting disorders, blood bank and dialysis workers, dental hygienists, and other members of health care teams who come into contact with blood, body fluids or body tissue.
Programs that offer HIV tests which are used to identify individuals who have been infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and are at risk for developing AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) or which are used to measure progression of the disease in people known to be infected. The most common HIV screening test is the enzyme immunoassay (EIA) which most frequently uses peripheral blood drawn from the arm or a finger as a sample, but can also be conducted using serum, oral fluids or urine. Repeatedly reactive EIA tests are confirmed using the Western blot or the immunofluorescence assay (IFA). The most common test that is used to measure disease progression is the PCR (polymeraise chain reaction) or viral load test. Many programs that provide HIV testing also provide pre-testing and post-test counselling which includes information about AIDS/HIV, reducing risks for HIV transmission, emotional support to help the individual deal with the testing process and test results, and information about and referral to other AIDS-related services.
Programs that evaluate an individual's nutritional history and dietary intake and develop a plan which ensures that the person's nutritional needs are met. The evaluation includes a review of the individual's food habits and preferences, an assessment of his or her feeding skills and eating problems and an analysis of biochemical and anthropometric variables including the person's height and weight and the fat content of his or her body.
Programs that employ a spiroscope to measure the amount of available lung capacity an individual uses during respiration.
Programs that identify individuals who have contracted gonorrhea, syphilis, genital herpes or other diseases that are spread by sexual contact and diagnose their conditions. The procedure includes visual examinations, blood tests and analyses of discharge or samples taken from lesions.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles: Copyright Notice.