Disease and Prevention
Full course description
Prevention has different foci: primary prevention aims to remove risk factors for diseases (e.g. stop smoking); secondary prevention is aimed at early disease detection (e.g. breast cancer screening); and tertiary prevention is aimed at timely detection and control of complications when living with disease.
Specifically, this module will address the following:
- Primary prevention of infectious and chronic diseases: this module covers studying the primary prevention of emerging and re-emerging infections (with a focus on risk communication), tuberculosis (with a focus on disease characteristics and outbreak investigation), and meningitis (with a focus on vaccination and use of social media); you will also study cardiovascular disease, including its individual risk management.
- Genetic screening and diagnosis in the reproductive context: you will study different forms of genetic screening and ethical considerations in the reproductive context (carrier screening, preimplantation genetic diagnosis, and prenatal screening and genetic diagnosis).
- Screening for chronic diseases: detecting disease in an early stage may prevent full-blown disease, mortality, and/or rapid progression; this module covers screening for different types of cancer and early stages of dementia.
- Living with disease: you will focus on diabetes (self-management), colorectal cancer, and chronic low back pain; the number of people living with these chronic diseases is high and growing. Especially a life-threatening or disabling chronic disease requires support and guidance in order to maintain or regain quality of life, prevent recurrence or complications of the disease, and continue participation in society.
- Group project ‘disease and prevention: opt for an intervention’: students will study a specific disease focusing on its characteristics as these will, in part, dictate which possibilities for prevention exist; there will be a field contact with a disease expert in the Netherlands to gain more in-depth knowledge on the disease, possibilities for prevention, and the issues involved. Products are a group paper and a group presentation.
Knowledge and insight-
Students acquire knowledge and understanding about: the occurrence, causes, diagnosis, treatment and consequences of a selection of major somatic diseases and mental disorders; the importance of disease characteristics with regard to the choice and contents of measures of disease prevention; the main types of prevention (primary, secondary and tertiary prevention as well as non-selective, selective, indicated and care-related prevention) in the public health context, with emphasis on preventive interventions such as vaccination, screening, shared decision making and informed choice; and the possibilities and impossibilities of disease prevention in the public health context.
Application of knowledge and insight-
After this module the student will be able to apply the obtained knowledge and insight in different situations and different levels, especially with regard to: critical appraisal of the efficacy and suitability of different types of prevention in the public health context; application of the basic principles of epidemiology and prevention to evaluate the probability that preventive activities will be effective; and analyse a disease or disorder on disease characteristics and formulate an advice about the prevention possibilities for this disease or disorder.
After this module the students are capable to critically appraise and judge:· different types of preventive interventions;· the choice for a preventive intervention based on disease characteristics;· ethical aspects of disease prevention in the public health context; ethical aspects of different types of preventive interventions.
You will have skills to: communicate in academic English and· collaborate with other students and public health officials.
The recommended literature for this module includes:
- Detels, R., Gulliford, M., & Karim Q. A. (Eds.) (2015). Oxford Textbook of Global Public Health. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Tulchinsky TH, Varavikova EA. The New Public Health. Second Edition. Amsterdam: Elsevier Academic Press, 2009.
- Poster RS, Kaplan JL, Lane KAG, Schindler ST, Short SC, Steigerwald MA. Merck Manual. Professional edition. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional Per problem covered in this module, specific literature will be indicated in the reference list accompanying the problem.