The interview will be held at the offices of the American Diabetes Association at our county, at 11AM. The National Health Objective to be discussed is reducing the proportion of adults who engage in no leisure-time physical activity (National Health Interview, 2010). The informant, Sheri Colberg is a member of American Diabetes Association. She lives in the community and runs a diabetes clinic. This objective is thus very close to her area of specialization due to the close relationship between diabetes, physical inactivity and old age (Smeltzer et al, 2009). In the clinic she assists diagnosed diabetic patients to come to terms with the chronic nature of their illness. Her roles and responsibilities include providing clinical assessment, teaching the patients on the complications of diabetes, healthy living, glucose monitoring, risk reduction, taking medication and insulin and generally healthy coping. She provides practical information on the recognition of acute problems related to diabetes, where to get and store syringes, where to seek help when complications arise and how the doctor can be contacted.
The informant states that there is definitely a gap as far as physical activity amongst adults is concerned. She stated that it was an important priority to make efforts of moving people out of the least active, least fit, high risk cohort. She says this cohort forms the bottom twenty per cent of the population and moving them even to a level of below average fitness would be significantly beneficial to the health of these people and the health indicators in the community. The 20% of the population that fall in the high risk group and those below average indicate the gap that is present in achievement of the objective to increase the number of people engaging in physical activity (Barnes et al, 2009; Franklin, 2009).
The strengths with regard to the objective include a strong community awareness program that has sensitized people on the need for physical activity and the possible risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle. There are also strong support services available for those diagnosed to have life style related conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and coronary artery disease among others. The support services are made effective through an efficient referral network.
The aggregate needs that are currently not being met in Sheri’s opinion are the lack of objective measures for physical activity. This makes it difficult to evaluate the attainment of the objective. It is also necessary to define the physical activity that would be helpful to adults and to encourage the physical activity to be spontaneous rather than only at leisure times. Additionally, the daily goals for activity need to be set rather than generally speaking of increasing physical activity.
The objective benefits from partnerships between various associations, hospitals, schools and community forums. These partnerships provide venues for education on benefits of physical activity. Politicians have also been used to drum up support for events such as diabetes walk, heart runs that are aimed at raising funds for these education programs. Student involvement has the added advantage of providing and opportunity of helping the younger people to adopt healthy practices early in life. This cooperation needs to continue to ensure that all people are sensitized on the importance of physical activity. Other things that could still be done is to increase opportunities for quick access to safe and convenient physical activity. Additionally spontaneous physical activity should be encouraged.
The local perception on this objective is that it is a good objective that requires support from the community members and that needs cooperation of various actors for it to be achieved. It is also perceived to be relevant as increasing those who are physically active leads to improved quality of life. The feeling however is that the objective should be written in a more positive way
Barnes PM, Schiller JS, Heyman KM, 2009, January-June 2009 National Health Interview Survey, National Center for Health Statistics. December 2009
Franklin B, 2009, Mayo Clinic Proc 2009:84; 776-779
National Health Interview Survey, 2010, Physical Activity and Fitness, available at http://www.healthypeople.gov/hp2020/Objectives/ViewObjective.aspx
Smeltzer et al, 2009, Brunner and Suddarth Textbook of Medical Surgical Nursing, Williams, Lippincott and Wilkins, 11th edition