Programs that administer sensitivity tests which help to isolate substances which provoke an allergic reaction in an individual. Methods include percutaneous tests (scratch, puncture, prick) with suspected substances including the venom of stinging insects, ophthalmic membrane tests, nasal mucous membrane tests, and inhalation tests.
Programs that measure the pressure existing in the large arteries at the height of a pulse wave and identify individuals whose blood pressure is higher than normal, and who are thereby susceptible to strokes and other conditions that are related to hypertension.
Programs that evaluate an individual's height, weight and body composition as a means of assessing overall health and fitness. Included are programs that calculate a person's Body Mass Index (BMI), a figure that is based on the weight (in kilograms) divided by the height (in metres) squared and interpreted using a table which shows value ranges for people who are underweight, have normal weight or are overweight; and those that look at the individual's body weight in terms of percentage of body fat, lean body mass (including organs, muscle and bone) and percentage of body water. Personalized recommendations for nutrition and exercise may also be provided for people with underdeveloped musculature or excessive body fat. These tests may be provided as components of nutrition assessment and prescription services or physical fitness assessment programs, but are often available as separate screenings.
Programs that conduct medical tests to determine the extent of brain injuries and the type of treatment and rehabilitation that are needed. Brain injuries may be hereditary, congenital, degenerative or acquired. Acquired brain injuries include central nervous system injury from physical trauma (traumatic brain injuries), anoxia or hypoxic episodes and allergic conditions, toxic substances, and other acute medical/clinical incidents.
Programs that offer any of a variety of tests which are used to identify people who have some form of cancer which, if caught in an early stage, may be treated with a higher probability of success.
Programs that offer a variety of tests to establish the presence of Alzheimer's disease, Pick's disease or other conditions which involve loss of memory, deterioration of intellectual functioning, disorientation and other similar symptoms.
Programs that provide dental examinations to detect tooth decay and periodontal problems, and oral hygiene information; but which refer out for cleaning, fillings, extractions and other necessary dental care.
Programs that administer tests which determine whether an individual has diabetes, a disorder in which the pancreas produces too little insulin with the result that the body in unable to adequately metabolize sugar.
Programs that evaluate the motor and cognitive functioning of elderly individuals or people with disabilities to determine the person's ability to drive. Some programs may also recommend vehicle modifications that will enable the individual to continue to drive.
Programs that conduct comprehensive workplace evaluations to identify ergonomic risk factors and determine the most effective strategy for controlling or eliminating the potentially harmful effects of force, repetition, awkward postures, static positions, contact stress, vibration and cold temperatures. The evaluations consider work activities, repetitive movement patterns, work station design, workplace seating, work tools and equipment and the posture of workers.
Programs that assess the current ability to function of people who have disabilities and prescribe or recommend the most appropriate assistive technology product to meet their individual needs including communication/learning aids, control and signaling aids, daily living aids, hearing augmentation aids, mobility aids, prosthetic/orthotic/seating devices, recreational aids, speech aids and/or visual/reading aids.
Programs that offer screening procedures that identify people who have targeted eye diseases or vision deficiencies that may require further examination.
Programs that evaluate an individual's feet to detect deformities, corns, calluses, bunions, heel spurs, hammertoes, neuromas, plantar warts, ingrown toenails, fungal infections, lesions, areas with loss of sensation or other foot problems. Some foot screenings focus specifically on people with diabetes who often have problems with the nerves and circulation in their feet which can lead to wounds and, in severe cases, amputations, but many are open to all.
Programs, generally staffed by an interdisciplinary team comprising a geriatrician, a nurse, a social worker and a pharmacist, that evaluate the functional ability, physical health, cognitive and mental health and socioenvironmental situation of older adults, particular those who are frail or chronically ill, to identify health-related problems, develop plans for treatment and follow-up, coordinate care, determine the need for long-term care, and ensure the optimal use of health care resources. Beneficial outcomes may include greater diagnostic accuracy, improved functional and mental status, reduced mortality, decreased use of nursing facilities and acute care hospitals and increased satisfaction with care.
Programs that offer hearing threshold tests for the purpose of identifying individuals whose ability to perceive sound falls outside the normal range. People who fail the screening test need an in-depth evaluation by an audiologist.
Programs that administer tests which identify individuals who have been exposed to hepatitis A, B or C by detecting the presence of associated antigens, antibodies or genetic material (DNA). Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver caused by a variety of agents including viral infection (hepatitis A virus, hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus and delta agents), bacterial invasion and physical and chemical agents. Hepatitis A and delta agent hepatitis are spread primarily from person to person via the fecal-oral route, but may occur by contact with water or food contaminated by the virus. Hepatitis B and C are spread by blood and serum-derived fluids and by direct contact with body fluids. Depending on the type of hepatitis involved, screening may be particularly recommended for persons who have travelled or worked in countries with high rates of infection, sexually active homosexual men, injecting and non-injecting illegal drug users, persons who work with infected primates in a laboratory setting, persons with chronic liver disease, persons with clotting disorders, blood bank and dialysis workers, dental hygienists, and other members of health care teams who come into contact with blood, body fluids or body tissue.
Programs that offer HIV tests which are used to identify individuals who have been infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and are at risk for developing AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) or which are used to measure progression of the disease in people known to be infected. The most common HIV screening test is the enzyme immunoassay (EIA) which most frequently uses peripheral blood drawn from the arm or a finger as a sample, but can also be conducted using serum, oral fluids or urine. Repeatedly reactive EIA tests are confirmed using the Western blot or the immunofluorescence assay (IFA). The most common test that is used to measure disease progression is the PCR (polymeraise chain reaction) or viral load test. Many programs that provide HIV testing also provide pre-testing and post-test counselling which includes information about AIDS/HIV, reducing risks for HIV transmission, emotional support to help the individual deal with the testing process and test results, and information about and referral to other AIDS-related services.
Programs that offer any of a variety of tests which determine whether an individual shows signs of decline in kidney function at an early enough stage that progression to more severe forms of kidney disease can be delayed or prevented. Included are blood pressure checks; a blood test for creatinine which estimates the glomerular filtration rate (the rate at which waste is being filtered by the kidneys); and a urine test (urinalysis or microalbumin) which looks for unusually large amounts of protein being excreted. Screening is particularly important for people with diabetes, high blood pressure or a family history of kidney disease, as well as for older adults and people of African, Asian, Latin American, or Pacific Island descent.
Programs that conduct blood tests to determine whether an individual has contracted Lyme disease, a debilitating and painful disease of the nervous system and joints which is caused by a bacterium that is transmitted to humans by the bite of a tick.
Programs that offer simple tests for the early detection of mild memory problems that may not be associated with Alzheimer's disease or related dementias. The screenings are generally confidential and involve completion of a questionnaire and a short memory test. People who exhibit cognitive and behavioural problems beyond those associated with normal aging may be referred for neuropsychological testing.
Programs that evaluate an individual's nutritional history and dietary intake and develop a plan which ensures that the person's nutritional needs are met. The evaluation includes a review of the individual's food habits and preferences, an assessment of his or her feeding skills and eating problems and an analysis of biochemical and anthropometric variables including the person's height and weight and the fat content of his or her body.
Programs that administer tests which determine whether an individual has or is in the process of developing osteoporosis, a condition involving the loss of bone mass which puts the individual at risk of bone fractures, particularly vertebral and hip fractures.
Programs that employ a spiroscope to measure the amount of available lung capacity an individual uses during respiration.
Programs that identify individuals who have contracted gonorrhea, syphilis, genital herpes or other diseases that are spread by sexual contact and diagnose their conditions. The procedure includes visual examinations, blood tests and analyses of discharge or samples taken from lesions.
Programs that identify individuals who have contracted tuberculosis by administering chest x-rays; the Mantoux test, the von Pirquet test or the Vollmer patch test, all of which determine the presence of a tuberculosis infection based on a local inflammatory reaction to a sample of the bacillus which has been injected or rubbed into the skin; or other screening tools.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.