Tertiary Prevention

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TERTIARY PREVENTION

Tertiary prevention generally consists of the prevention of disease progression and attendant suffering after it is clinically obvious and a diagnosis established. This activity also includes the rehabilitation of disabling conditions. Examples include eliminating offending allergens from asthmatic patients; routine screening for and management of early renal, eye, and foot problems among diabetics; and preventing reoccurrence of heart attack with anticlotting medications and physical modalities to regain function among stroke patients. For many common chronic illnesses, protocols to promote tertiary preventive interventions have been developed, often called "disease management." Disease treatments are not usually included, but the boundary with tertiary prevention is not always clear.

Robert B. Wallace

(see also: Chronic Illness; Clinical Preventive Services; Prevention; Prevention Research; Preventive Medicine; Primary Prevention; Secondary Prevention )

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tertiary prevention n. reducing the impact of complications and progression of established disease; for example, by cardiac rehabilitation following myocardial infarction. See also preventive medicine.