Describe one biomedical theory or model frequently used in health care and provide your rational for how it relates to improved patient outcomes.
The theory of web of causation, developed by MacMahon and Pugh, identifies that many disease processes evolve from a culmination of many factors (as cited in McEwen, 2014). The example provided Friedman’s adapted web of causation related to cardiac disease is an excellent example (as cited in McEwen, 2014). Viewing the web of causation for coronary artery disease, we can predict the modifiable risk factors that lead to death of cardiac tissue. These modifiable risk factors are the concepts within the framework that can be studied in order to identify appropriate interventions. Studying each concept within the web of causation can yield more information about the disease process and information about how much each concept contributes to the disease (Merril & Timmereck, 2006). This idea is demonstrated by Tilling, Sterne, & Szklo (2002) who studied relationships between cardiovascular risk factors—specifically smoking, diabetes, basic metabolic
index, and use of anti-hypertensive medication. Tilling et al.(2002) identified that the timing of exposure to smoking, diabetes, and anti-hypertensive medications impacts mortality rates related to cardiovascular disease and added to knowledge surrounding cardiovascular disease. Tilling et. al. (2002) also identified there are many ways to look at all of the concepts and study the relationships between the concepts. For example, Tilling et al. (2002) identified that the results from their study showed that each additional year of smoking a person added to their baseline, reduced life expectancy of that person by 2 months while a study by Mark and Robins had demonstrated quitting smoking increased life expectancy by 50% (as cited in Tilling et al., 2002).
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