Live Life Well program is a health program that New South Wales Ministry of Health uses in preventing or delaying the onset of type II diabetes mellitus among adults.
Since the incidences of diabetes in Australia are very high, it necessitates health promotion program, which helps people to prevent and manage their diabetic conditions with the objective of living a healthy and a happy life.
Statistics show that, in Australia, diabetes mellitus accounts for about 5.5% of health burden, prevalent rates is approximately 8% among adults with ages of 16 and above, and 275 adults develop it daily in Australia.
These figures show that type II diabetes mellitus is a serious health condition in Australia, which has led to the establishment of Live Life Well program.
Given that type II diabetes is common among adults, the program targets Australians aged between 50 to 65 years, who are likely to develop the diabetes.
In this view, the report analyses Live Life Well program, a program that aims at preventing or delaying the occurrence of type II diabetes mellitus among adult Australians.
Description of the Program
Live Life Well is a preventive health program, which aims at preventing type II diabetes among adult Australians with ages between 50 and 65. The programs enable adults, who are risk of developing type II diabetes, to prevent or delay the occurrence of the diabetes in their lives.
In selection of participants, the program uses the Australian Type II Diabetes Risk Assessment Tool (AUSDRISK), which assesses the diabetic risk of adults between the ages of 50 and 65 years.
Once assessed for the risk of developing type II diabetes, the participants go through a one-year program that guides them to perform a number lifestyle changes and monitors their progress.
The lifestyle changes that the participants perform are reducing intakes of total and saturated fats, reducing weight, increasing physical activity, increasing intake of fibre, moderating alcohol, quitting smoking, and managing stress well (New South Wales Ministry of Health 2014).
During the course of the program, general practitioners assess the progress of participants in line with the lifestyle changes that programs aim to achieve. Therefore, Live Life Well is a preventive program that focuses on lifestyle changes among adults in preventing or delaying the occurrence type II diabetes.
Analysis of the programs indicates that it employs both primary and secondary preventive strategies, which aims at preventing or delaying the occurrence of type II diabetes among Australian adults with ages 50 and 65 years.
National Public Health Partnership (2006) defines primary prevention as a strategy that reduces or eliminates risk factors that cause certain diseases and promote factors protect or sustain human health.
Since Live Life Well program aims to reduce intakes of total and saturated fats, reduce weight, reduce alcohol consumption, eliminate smoking, and promote healthy lifestyles such as increasing fibre intake and physical exercise, it qualifies to be a primary preventive program.
Furthermore, Live Life Well qualifies to be a secondary preventive program because it employs the strategies of secondary prevention.
National Public Health Partnership (2006) also defines secondary prevention as a prevention strategy, which “aims to reduce the progression of disease through early detection, usually screening at an asymptomatic stage and early intervention” (p. 3).
Live Life Well applies secondary prevention strategy because it assesses the risk of Australian adults to type II diabetes using AUSDRISK, a sensitive too, that detects type II diabetes at an asymptomatic stage.
Moreover, the program applies comprehensive intervention measures to prevent or delay the onset of the type II diabetes among Australian adults, who have high risks.
Characteristics of the Program
Live Life Well is a prevention program that relies on behavioural changes among Australian adults. The program relies on behavioural changes in terms of lifestyles because type II diabetes is a lifestyle disease.
Sharma and Majumdar (2009) state that type II diabetes is a lifestyle disease that emanates from physical inactivity and poor eating habits, which constitute behavioural factors.
Excessive intake of total and saturated fats, smoking, lack of enough physical activity, overweight and obese, and excessive consumption of alcohol are some of the behavioural factors that predispose people to type II diabetes.
Since Live Life Well aims to reduce or eliminate these factors, it employs behavioural interventions. Vermunt et al. (2013) argue that behavioural change is a complex process because it requires the application of numerous interventions, which focus one health issue.
This explains why Live Life Well program utilizes diet and major interventions of preventing or delaying the onset of type II diabetes.
The analysis of the behavioural approach that the program uses indicates that it complies with health promotion values and principles.
The values and principles of health promotion usually focus on the general population, the population at risk, or focus on both, depending on the determinants of health and target disease (Lardon et al. 2011).
In this case, since the program focuses on the population at risk of developing type II diabetes, it applies health promotion values and principles that aim to prevent or delay the occurrence of the diabetes among Australian adults.
Gregg and O’Hara (2007) assert that in health promotion, the overarching principles that are applicable among the populations, which are at risk of developing certain diseases, are empowerment and participation.
Empowerment of the population at risk enables them to understand healthy and unhealthy lifestyles that predispose them to certain diseases and thus provide the basis for them to make informed choices about their lifestyles and behaviours.
According to Heritage and Dooris (2009), participation is an important principle in health promotion because it “emphasizes on the necessity of participation, with actions being carried out by and with people, not to the people” (p. 45).
In this view, the program applies participation the principle participation because the participants perform virtually all activities while lifestyle officers and general practitioners merely guides and monitors the progress of the participants.
Appraisal of the Program
Live Life Well has two strengths, which make it an effective health promotion program. The first strength is that Live Life Well program applies the principle of empowerment in enabling and strengthening Australian adults to prevent or delay the onset of type II diabetes despite their susceptibility.
World Health Organization (2010) states that the health promotion principle seeks to enable the target population to enhance control of their lives and their health choices. Fundamentally, the program empowers Australian adults, who are at risk of developing type II diabetes to prevent and delay the diabetes.
The second strength is that Live Life Well supports participation of Australian adults in the prevention or delay of the onset of type II diabetes. Fienieg et al. (2012) state that for health promotion program to be effective, it must have purposeful action and personal development.
Appraisal shows that Live Life Well has clear action and personal development milestones, which drive Australian adults to participate actively for a period of one year.
The weakness of the program in relation to the principles of empowerment and participation is insufficiency of the time to conduct the program.
Geense et al. (2013) assert that time is a barrier that reduces the effectiveness of health promotion programs because public health officers do not have ample time to educate and monitor progress of participants appropriately.
Appraisal of Live Life Well reveals that general practitioners and lifestyle officers can interest with the participants for a period of about 10 hours per year, which is quite negligible when compare to the period of the program.
Such a short period of education and monitoring reduces empowerment and participation, which are central principles of health promotion. Thus, the amount of time that the program allocates to the participants is not sufficient for education, monitoring, and assessment.
Enhancement of the Program
Since type II diabetes does not only affect the old adults, the program needs to reduce the threshold for young adults from 45 to 35 years. Song and Hardisty (2009) early onset of type II diabetes at the age of below 40 years result in serious complications.
Centres for Disease Control (2014) has made a significant impact in the prevention of diabetes among Americans because it incorporates numerous stakeholders such as healthcare professionals, insurers, community-based organizations, employers, and federal agencies in promoting behavioural changes that prevent or delay the occurrence of type II diabetes.
In this view, Live Life Well should enhance its impact in the prevention and delay of type diabetes by incorporating additional stakeholders and increasing the amount of time it provides for teaching, monitoring, and assessment of participants.
Analysis of Live Life Well indicates that it is an effective program in the prevention and delay of type II diabetes among Australian adults because it employs both primary and secondary preventive strategies.
Live Life Well is a preventive program that relies on behavioural changes in reducing or eliminating risk factors of type II diabetes or promoting healthy lifestyle among Australian adults.
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Vermunt, P, Milder, I, Wielaard, F, Baan, C, Schelfhout, J, Westert, G, & Oers, H 2013, ‘Behavior change in a lifestyle intervention for type 2 diabetes prevention in Dutch primary care: opportunities for intervention content’, BMC Family Practice, vo. 14, no. 78, pp. 1-8.
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