Disease prevention & health promotion: what’s critical care got to do with it?
Health systems are increasingly investing in efforts to prevent disease and promote health for populations. By and large, these prevention-related interventions have not been inclusive of critical care and the intensive care unit (ICU). However, we suggest that there is value—to patients, families, health systems, and society at large—in extending this continuum into the ICU setting and including the ICU in disease prevention and health promotion efforts. Including the ICU in this continuum allows the critical care perspective to inform (I) advocacy for prevention; (II) efforts to improve disparities in health and health care; (III) mitigation of the negative effects of critical illness and injury as well as ICU exposure, and (IV) promotion of health and well-being in the community. As disease prevention and health promotion rise as priorities within health systems, critical care can and should join, even help lead, the effort.