Search

Preventive health care

Definition

Information

All adults should visit their health care provider from time to time, even when they are healthy. The purpose of these visits is to:

Following are some of the tests that may be done or scheduled:

Your health care provider can recommend how often you might want to schedule a visit .

Another part of preventive health is learning to recognize changes in your body that may not be normal. This is so you can see your health care provider right away. Changes may include:

  • A lump anywhere on your body
  • Losing weight without trying
  • A lasting fever
  • A cough that does not go away
  • Body aches and pains that do not go away
  • Changes or blood in your stools
  • Skin changes or sores that do not go away or get worse
  • Other changes or symptoms that are new or do not go away

References

Atkins D, Barton M. The periodic health examination. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 14.

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Guide to clinical preventive services 2012. Rockville, MD. 2012. AHRQ publications 12-05154. Available at  http://www.ahrq.gov/clinic/pocketgd2012/pocketgd2012.pdf. Accessed January 20, 2013.

Encyclopedia content is provided as information only and not intended to replace the advice and instruction from your personal physician.