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Asthma and its symphtomes - Essay Example

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Asthma deaths continue to occur despite a greater awareness of the disease within the public sphere (Hannaway, 2004, p. 256). Asthma is a disease of the bronchial tubes, where constriction causes a person to lack an adequate intake of oxygen. The symptoms are well known among the public, and include coughing, wheezing and episodes of shortness of breath (someone, date, page)…
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Download file to see previous pages Secondly, a reflective discussion of my own experience with asthma sufferers in as a practice nurse working in a GPs surgery shall be presented. Finally, a conclusion shall synthesise the main points of the paper, and clearly state how issue is reflected in my area of clinical practice.
Presently, Western societies experience easy access to health information and education as compared to the past. For example, the internet provides an abundance of information resources and access to public health services, council libraries are open to the public, and contemporary media and advertising strive to 'educate' their consumers on product labels. Large scale efforts of primary care workers at using behavioural modification methods, and encouraging sufferers to adopt healthier lifestyles, such as avoiding pollution, or not smoking around children, have been largely unsuccessful. However, although it is ultimately the sufferer who decides whether to adopt a healthier lifestyle, it appears that factors exist which hinder their access to health information, as well as that of their families, and perhaps also the primary care workers who deliver services to them (Morris, 2001, p. 48).
Socio-economic status of the sufferer has traditionally been cited as the dominant factor affecting health and wellbeing. Inequalities in access to economic resources results in dramatic differences in life chances (Fulcher & Scott, 1999, p. 588). For example, one may not own a computer, or is unable to afford an Internet connection, so is unable to source health information. Alternatively, unfamiliarity with using a PC may negate a person's interest of using a public library's facilities.
Another dominant factor is the cultural beliefs of the sufferer, which may constrain a sufferer from using contemporary medications. Research has indicated that non-compliant sufferers contribute to high morbidity rates of asthma. This may be due to religious affiliation, or from a mistrust of medications that are not traditionally associated with one's cultural upbringing. Other factors that can inhibit access to health information include: social isolation, such as can be experienced by elderly or the physically disabled; geographical location that constrains attendance to health promotion programs; the sufferer experiencing other health issues that they consider 'more important' than asthma; personality characteristics that influence a person's decision to deny the diagnosis of asthma; or peer pressure to not attend health education, or to avoid use of medication in some social contexts.
Social constructions that contribute to high morbidity rates of asthma include asthma not being conceptualised as a life-threatening disease. Especially, an absence of symptoms such as wheezing are often interpreted as meaning the absence of the disease all together. Hence, sufferers may fail to recognise danger signals. Alternatively, asthma tends to be conceptualised as solely a childhood experience. The fact that the disease can develop at any time across the lifespan does not appear to be well known to the public, as such many older sufferers may believe that their age provides them with immunity from the diseases more serious effects.
It is also recognised that the unnecessary morbidity rates o ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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