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Report on Healthcare Screening

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"REPORT ON SCREENING" Helen Lyford-smith This report is a study on Screening. Living in the 21st century and as a result of this we have a large amount of knowledge established about various diseases, some of which can be cured, some of which scientists are still attempting to research and find solutions to, and some we can only endeavour to prevent. The aspect of prevention is the key focus for this assignment. During this study I will go into the various aspects of Screening, looking specifically into each type in exploratory analysis and evaluation looking at the positive and negative sides of each type of screening and the problems associated with each of them. Screening - an introduction Screening is a systematic examination or assessment, done especially to detect an unwanted substance or attribute. Screening can be carried out through the National Health Service in general hospitals or by your GP, or can be carried out in private organisations such as BUPA. The UK Health Screening Programme covers a vast array of medical examination and assessment ranging from dentistry through to screening for cancer cells - all of which I will be going into further depth with during the course of this report. According to a popular health study by the UK National Screening Committee, (http://www.nsc.nhs.uk) Screening is a public health service in which members of a defined population, who do not necessarily perceive they are at risk of, or are already affected by a disease or its complications, are asked a question or offered a test, to identify those individuals who are more likely to be helped than harmed by further tests or treatment to reduce the risk of a disease or its complications. Conditions and Regulations of Screening There is no point in testing for conditions that do not respond differently when detected early. Yet in some cases it is vital for a person's survival of a disease to discover its presence as early on as possible, for example when screening for cancerous cells in a growth. ...read more.

Middle

The test involves checking how well each eye follows and how far the movement of the eye stretches in each direction. In children 5 years and older, the visual field is often tested with the 'wiggly finger' test. Each eye is covered in turn, and the examiner gradually brings a wiggly finger into the child's field of vision. Colour blindness (colour vision deficiency) tests are not carried out at primary school age, but usually around age 11 if a problem is suspected. These use the Ishihara colour vision tests, which involve images made up of two different colours of dots. If colour vision is normal, the child will be able to recognise the letter or number that is highlighted. A child, who cannot tell the difference between two colours (such as red and green) and therefore cannot see the picture, may have a colour vision problem. There is some controversy around pre-school and school children's visual testing - many visual impairments are not picked up until later in life, suggesting the testing is not rigorous or effective enough. It is important for visual impairment to be diagnosed early for schoolwork, reading and playing to be at its best. Infants who fail to see properly from an early age will not develop full vision, putting them at a disadvantage educationally and developmentally. In addition, there is the long standing debate over the need for toddler's eye tests. A new research paper by William C Northstone has addressed the issue recently - contraversially, pre school screening for amblyopia (lazy eye) has been abandoned in much of the UK on the grounds that it can be done more effectively at school age and that ge at starting treatment is irrelevant. Amblyopia is a condition that affects 3% of children and is treated usually with an eye patch - however if left untreated until the age of 7 or 8, the sight in the weaker eye will never improve. ...read more.

Conclusion

the occurrence of false negative, they must be specific to minimise the rate of false positives, they must be simple and straightforward so as not to put off a potential service user when considering the screening in theory, and detection must result in treatment or other action, so as the screening does not become pointless. I can also evaluate at this point, that although some of these screening tests are free, others not requiring any visit to a health care professional, a lot of people choose not to have them. This is for a number of reasons; They may not have time, as modern living can prove to be hectic and busy. It may also not be conveniant, for example if a single mother lives out of town and cannot get in to take her children to the dentist or GP. In addition, some may actively choose not to, due to embarressment for example with smear tests, as they are very personal and can make the individual feel uncomfortable. Most commonly, people may feel that it is not necessary, only visiting the doctor when they feel physically unwell. Others may feel unwell but are afraid of diagnosis, actual confirmation of a disease resulting in surgery or a course of treatment. Some people from poorer less educated areas may not have the knowledge of the healthcare available to them. Reminders for screening tests may not even reach people, due to change of address. These are some of the denominating factors for people not attending screening tests. However no matter what cause for the avoidance of screening, essentially early detection is proved to be key for all of the conditions and diseases I have investigated. It is of primary importance for the message of screening as an essential part of lifestyle to become heard, by people of all ages and backgrounds. It is really only then that we can begin to understand, treat and even discover the cause or cure for these conditions, illnesses and diseases. ...read more.

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