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Health Topics Name Changes

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Health Topics Name Changes

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Health Topics Name Changes

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently announced a major change in the naming conventions of health topics. Moving forward, the organization will no longer include the words “mental health” or “mental disorder” when referring to topics such as depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. This decision was made to destigmatize the terms associated with mental health, and instead, focus on the point of care.

Why the Change?

The WHO cites the following motives for this update:

  • To reduce the stigma that is still attached to mental health
  • To encourage people to seek care for mental health issues
  • To increase understanding of mental health problems and the various related treatments
  • To make sure that mental health is seen as a separate issue from physical health

The organization has developed an entire set of new terms to replace the language associated with mental health. For instance, depression and anxiety will now be referred to as psychological distress. Eating disorders will be referred to as nutrition-related disorders.

What’s Next?

While this update is a major step forward in destigmatizing mental health topics, it is only the first of many changes the WHO hopes to make. The organization is also working to reframe healthcare providers’ conversations about mental health by providing them with language and other resources that are more “person-centered” and less “disorder-based.”

In addition, the WHO is working on new initiatives to improve access to quality mental health care, provide accurate information about mental health needs across different populations, and create innovative approaches to reduce the stigma associated with mental health. It’s clear that this is only the beginning for a more unified and effective approach to global mental health. With the ever-changing landscape of medical practices and technology, it is inevitable that health topics will also need to change and evolve. As the medical field expands, so too does the need for more specific terms to accurately describe diseases, treatments, and even lifestyle practices that are relevant to public health. This is why health topics may occasionally require name changes as newer concepts come to light.

Recently, the American Heart Association announced that two of its leading health topics, High Blood Pressure and Hypertension, will now be referred to as High Blood Pressure (HBP) and Uncontrolled High Blood Pressure (UHBP). This change was intended to make it easier for healthcare providers to communicate with patients, particularly those in underserved communities who may not recognize the more technical terms associated with these conditions.

The new system seeks to provide a more comprehensive understanding of blood pressure readings while also ensuring more accurate diagnoses and better treatment and prevention plans. High blood pressure, which is a measure of the force exerted by blood on blood vessel walls while at rest, can range from a reading of 120/80 (normal) to 180/120 (hypertensive), and is considered one of the leading risk factors for cardiovascular disease. On the other hand, uncontrolled high blood pressure is a more serious condition in which the blood pressure readings stay consistently high.

Conveying the difference between these two health topics can help patients better understand and manage their condition, as well as identify any potential lifestyle changes that may benefit their overall health and well-being.

In addition to the name change for high blood pressure and hypertension, the American Heart Association is also planning to change the name of another health topic: ‘Stroke,’ which will now be referred to as ‘Cerebrovascular Disease.’ This change reflects a broader understanding of this condition and the need to focus on interventions and prevention strategies rather than relying on the term ‘Stroke’ alone.

Health topic name changes can be complex, but they play an important role in the way doctors and other health professionals communicate and interact with their patients. By introducing changes when necessary, healthcare providers can more effectively assess, diagnose, and treat their patients, ultimately leading to improved outcomes.

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