The Pros and Cons of Health Screening Essay

The Pros and Cons of Health Screening Essay

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The Benefits and Disbenefits of Health Screening and the Contribution of Psychology in Health Screening.

Health screening, according to Durojaiye, (2009), is a systematic application of a test or inquiry to identify individuals at risk of a specific health problem. This enables further investigation or direct preventive action, among individuals who have not sought medical attention on account of their symptoms of that problem. The main aim of screening program therefore is to detect disease or risk factors among the general population, in order to carry out preventive, or therapeutic intervention because the highest benefit one can derive from a specific treatment is when the disease is less advanced (Wardle & Pope, 1992). Screening is different to diagnosis as it is performed on people without symptoms; it does not provide a diagnosis but rather identifies individuals at increased risk for follow-up diagnostic testing (Trevena2009).

There are a number of benefits expected from health screening and much research has shown the benefits that health screening provides to the health sector. However, in recent years research is emerging with the agenda of opportunity cost of health screening. As result many scholars have indicated that there is a significant number of disadvantages associated with heath screening. This essay explores the benefits and dis-benefits of health screening, and highlights the contribution of psychology to health screening.

Wardle & Pope (1992) claimed that evaluating the benefits of health screening can be very difficult. This is primarily due to the fact that premature death from chronic diseases, fore example breast and cervical cancer, is comparatively rare and con...


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...ures are applied when they are most effective. Most of the disadvantages of health screening lie on the psychological aspect of the individual and the anxiety that it creates. The other disadvantages are the misconception it creates for individuals especially those with negative result and the alteration of health behavior that people develop because of screening. Most researchers agree that the screening process should be implemented only if the benefits out weigh the dis benefits. Research shows that, psychology plays an enormous role in reducing the distresses created by health screening. The major psychological methods of dealing with the stresses due to health screening are assumed to be coping strategies that involves teaching simple strategies to bring about emotional regulation and cognitive behavioral methods that involve changing irrational beliefs.



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