Skip to main content

Arkansas State University

Why Health Studies Relies on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

The field of health studies is increasingly critical to the future of the medical field. As Indeed notes, health studies involves the various aspects of the healthcare industry, including administrative processes, biological and social elements of human health, and policies that impact population health and quality of care. This means professionals in the health studies space must have skills in the realm of health promotion and disease prevention.

Health promotion focuses on protecting the health of the public, individuals and communities. These efforts often go hand-in-hand with disease prevention efforts, and the COVID-19 pandemic is the most recent example. During the onset of COVID-19, healthcare facilities worked together to overcome the challenges the pandemic placed on individuals worldwide. Healthcare professionals used their knowledge about diseases and health to keep the public informed on the issues while the scientific understanding of COVID-19 evolved.

The health promotion and disease prevention efforts during the pandemic involved decreasing social determinants and health inequity throughout the healthcare system. Efforts primarily centered on individual behavior changes and disease management, interventions affecting organizations and communities, and informing policies affecting the population. Graduates of the online Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Health Studies program from Arkansas State University (A-State) will gain holistic healthcare skills encompassing prevention methods, disease mitigation strategies and more.

Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Defined

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), health promotion enables people to increase and improve control over their health. It moves beyond a focus on individual behavior toward a wide range of social and environmental interventions.

The WHO’s emphasis on health promotion in the Western Pacific Region focuses on:

  • Strengthening health promotion capacity (such as financing and infrastructure)
  • Promoting urban health (including healthy cities and health equity)
  • Building other healthy settings (like schools and workplaces)
  • Developing health literacy

Disease prevention is essentially a form of health promotion because it informs the public about current issues that could harm certain populations. It is understood as specific, population- and individual-based interventions for primary and secondary (early detection) prevention, aiming to minimize the burden of diseases and associated risk factors.

On a conceptual level, it is helpful to characterize disease prevention services as those primarily concentrated within the healthcare sector and health promotion services as those that focus on intersectoral actions and social determinants of health.

Professionals in the health studies space must have promotional and disease prevention skills for a number of responsibilities. According to Indeed, one example might be promoting “a more inclusive and equitable health care system” or working as a community health worker who affects water quality, health education, family planning, nutrition education or disease prevention.

Health Studies Helps Ensure Communities Are Healthy and Educated

To ensure communities are healthy and educated, health promotion supports governments, communities and individuals to cope with and address health challenges. Leaders accomplish this goal by building beneficial public policies, creating supportive environments and strengthening community action and personal skills.

Primary disease prevention refers to efforts to avoid widespread disease, including:

  • Measures to improve health through changing the impact of social and economic determinants on health
  • The provision of information on behavioral and medical health risks, alongside consultation and measures to decrease them at the personal and community level
  • Nutritional and food supplementation
  • Oral and dental hygiene education
  • Clinical preventive services such as immunization and vaccination of children, adults and the elderly — as well as immunization or post-exposure prophylaxis for people exposed to a communicable disease

At the core of health promotion and disease prevention are the dedicated nurses who advocate for the needs of their patients. For patients to avoid specific health concerns, nurses must participate in outreach programs and local and global organizations, build trust within their communities and assist in the fight against the onset of new diseases through the implementation of immunizations for all individuals. Professionals in the health studies space — such as care coordinators, community health coordinators, case managers or medical and health services managers — can ensure the right nurses are involved in health promotion and disease prevention efforts.

The Importance of a Health Studies Degree

Those who enroll in A-State’s online B.S. in Public Health program will create a strong foundation in inspiring healthier lifestyles in their communities. For example, the program develops student competence to “work in community health, [and] support services…” and to “serve communities with quality improvement in healthcare, preventative health, advocacy and patient education.” Relevant coursework includes the Cultural Competence in Health Professions course and the Social Problems course.

Learn more about Arkansas State University’s online B.S. in Public Health program.

Request Information

Submit the form below, and an Enrollment Specialist will contact you to answer your questions.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Or call 866-621-8096

Ready to go?

Start your application today!
Or call 866-621-8096 866-621-8096
for help with any questions you have.
  • Choose All That Apply