Health relates to ensuring the optimal level of well-being in the individual. In the homeless this relates to ensuring that they are as well protected from the effects which being homeless may have on their health as possible. The nursing paradigm relates to the use of the skills of the community nurse in creating and maintaining a relationship with the individual as well as offering appropriate treatment and care. Taking these four metaparadigms into account, primary prevention would be considered to be an effective community health care strategy to use with the homeless.
Primary prevention relates to the interventions which the community nurse creates to prevent risk behaviors before they start. In the case of the homeless aggregate this pertains to preventing behaviors which may put the homeless person's health and well being at risk in order to maintain this at the optimal levels possible given the situation. This could also be considered in terms of maintaining the fourteen areas of nursing care as established by Henderson in the Interactive model of nursing (Tourville and Ingalls, 2003). This framework can be seen in Appendix 1. Primary prevention will be achieved through health promotion and education and health protection in line with this framework, focusing in preventing any behavior which may compromise the elements of the framework. The importance of primary prevention is that it is independent of diagnosis (Wenger, 2006). This means that it is an accessible form of health care, making it particularly suitable for those groups who may resist diagnosis, as may be the case for some subgroups of the homeless.
Health Promotion and Education
This step of primary prevention focuses on the development of accessible health education programs for the homeless. This focuses on using education to prevent any behaviors which may put the health of the individual at risk, such as heavy alcohol consumption, unprotected sex and other risky behaviors. The strategies are aimed at establishing decision making skills and encouraging the homeless people to accept self responsibility for prevention. Health promotion which promotes the use of support services may also aid with the social aspects of behaviors (Doherty & Stuttaford, 2007). This is pertinent in addressing the issues of the homeless, as it is possible to also address the actual issues which have resulted in homelessness through primary prevention.
Health protection focuses on actively protecting the health of the homeless individual, such as through the provision of vaccines, needle exchange programs and providing washing and laundry facilities. Health protection for the homeless should also ensure the availability of client-friendly preventative measures including nutrition supplementation for the poor diets which the homeless are likely to maintain. Health protection should also encourage the use of support systems such as shelters and missions which are available to the homeless (Wright & Tompkins, 2006).
Comprehensive Health Programs
This level of prevention is crucial to developing comprehensive health programs