This paper discusses three risk factors that are associated with cardiovascular diseases development and focuses on the essence of the primary intervention for a patient that has yet to develop one. It describes how first a nurse practitioner needs to conduct an integrated approach to assess the patient’s needs and then develop an educational plan to address the needs.
Assessment of a patient needs is carried out through screening. At this stage, a nurse practitioner interviews the patient about various risk factors which increase his or her risk of developing the disease. The patient is assigned to a blood test, which shows the level of cholesterol and sugar in blood. Then using a particular calculator (e.g. the Framingham calculator) the nurse calculates the chances of developing a cardiovascular disease for the patient, and assesses the cardiovascular risk as high, moderate, or low. After that, a relevant intervention is designed to address the main risk factors. These, for example, are tobacco use or tobacco exposure, high level of alcohol consumption, and unhealthy diet full of saturated fats (Loon et al., 2014).

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Integrated approach means to prevention of a cardiovascular disease means that all three risk factors will need to be addressed. In this context, the educational plan will include education about positive effects of the Mediterranean diet on both prevention and management of cardiovascular disease. This diet is rich in vegetables and fruit, olive oil, fish, nuts, legumes, and unrefined grains. It has proved its effectiveness in reducing the risk and treating cardiovascular disease, as shown by reliable, randomized control studies (Robson, 2014). In case the patient is an active/passive tobacco user, the intervention should address this risk factor as well. It will focus on educating the patient (his family members) about the dangers of tobacco smoking and on the ways of smoking cessation. Such interventions have been effective, as shown by the study of Nichter et al. (2015). Likewise, if the patient is a heavy alcohol user, the educational plan should focus on raising his/her motivation for reducing the use of alcohol and guiding the patient throughout the challenge (Lee et al., 2012). Hopefully, this educational plan will address the patient’s needs in an integrated way.

    References
  • Lee, S., Misra, R., & Kaster, E. (2012). Active intervention program using dietary education and exercise training for reducing obesity in Mexican American male children. Health Educator, 44 (1), 2-13.
  • Loon, M. K., van Dijk-de Vries, A., van der Weijden, T., Elwyn, G., & Widdershoven, G. A. (2014). Ethical issues in cardiovascular risk management: Patients need nurses’ support. Nursing Ethics, 21 (5), 540-553.
  • Nichter, M., Padmajam, S., Nichter, M., Sairu, P., Aswathy, S., Mini, G. K., & … Thankappan, K. R. (2015). Developing a smoke free homes initiative in Kerala, India. BMC Public Health, 15 (1), 1-9.
  • Robson, D. (2014). Positive effects of the Mediterranean diet in the prevention and management of cardiovascular disease: A literature review. Journal of the Australian Traditional-Medicine Society, 20 (3), 200-205.