n the 19th century, the definition of health was to be free from disease. Disease was widespread at the time due to poor sanitation habits such as, purification of water or removal of waste. With time measures were implicated to reduce poor sanitation habits thus leading to diseases to being manageable. (Falkner, “Chapter 2”, 2018) In the 20th century health was defined as being a functional part of society which was free from disability or the inability to fulfilled roles in society. With the discovery of immunization vaccines disease prevention came to the for front. In 1948, the World Health Organization (WHO) was formed and the focus was on illness prevention.
Currently the definition of health is to preserve the necessary components to be healthy which are, physical, mental and spiritual wellness. In the United States, healthy living is the major focus. Health Promotion and disease prevention is how to have a healthy living. Every 10 years Health People 2020 identify what the nations health concerns are. They are to provide prevention measures.
It is important for nurses to implement health promotion interventions based on evidence-based practice because evidence has shown that if certain habits are practiced it increases a better living for the patient. According to the Healthy People 2020 the website provided great evidence-based information on the prevention of or management of illnesses. Such as, family history and/or eating habits with a high caloric intake of starches makes a person more prone to develop diabetes.
Healthy People 2020. (n.d.). Retrieved February 4, 2020, from
Falkner, A. (2018). Chapter 2. In Health Promotion: Health & Wellness Across the Continuum. Grand Canyon University. Retrieved from
Final Recommendation Statement: Abnormal Blood Glucose and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Screening. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. April 2018.
Health, being a basic necessity of every human being has developed overtime to what it is currently. In the early 19th century, health was viewed as being free of disease as infectious diseases were predominant and hard to bottle up mainly because of poor sanitation including; insufficient disinfection of drinking water and poor waste disposal. As time went by, disease became more controllable through institution of proper sanitation measures in the early 20th century thus, shifting the definition of disease to be the ability to remain a functional part of society (Falkner, 2018). Due to the diseases ability to cause chronic disabilities; the aspect of prevention became a priority whereby the invention and administration of vaccines helped in total eradication of many diseases (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2015).
With the emphasis of disease prevention taking precedence, health evolved into more than being disease free and with the WHO coming into existence, the focus changed and continues to be health promotion which has been defined to be the process of helping people to increase control over, and to improve their health, thus moving beyond a focus on individual behavior to a wide range of social and environmental interventions (WHO n.d.a). Given the goal to create a culture of maintaining healthy living and disease prevention rather than seeking treatment after disease infestation, this concept of health promotion has further advanced to include collaboration and partnerships of the US office of disease prevention with different states to address public health and provide funding for hospital expansion in an effort to meet the increasing needs for health promotion in the nation (Mallee, 2017). Besides this effort, there has been creation of a federal program for health; Healthy People 2020 which was designed to help decrease rising morbidity and mortality rates associated with diseases through setting new goals every 10 years.
Due to the impact of the above aspects, wellness has continually improved through factors such as health screenings, proper nutrition, healthy living behaviors and choices. Nurses who are usually the first contact of patients, are tasked with the responsibility of advocating health promotion to ensure quality care. Through their role as educators, they continually strive to be knowledgeable caregivers who base their practice on sound scientific evidence founded research. The incorporation of latest evidence, clinical expertise and patient preference and values helps to influence positive outcomes that ultimately enhance health promotion (Falkner, 2018).
American Academy of Pediatrics. (2015). History of immunizations. Retrieved from https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/immunizations/Pages/History-of-Immunizations.aspx
Falkner, A. (2018). In GCUs Health Promotion: Health and Wellness Across the Continuum. Retrieved from
Mallee, H. (2017). The evolution of health as an ecological concept. Retrieved from https://sustainabilitycommunity.nature.com/posts/20580-science-paradigms-health-environment-evolution
World Health Organization. (n.d.a). Health promotion. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/topics/health_promotion/en/