Week 2 : descriptive epidemiology and sources of population health

  

Week 2 : Descriptive Epidemiology and Sources of Population Health Data

In 2009, the FDA and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) made policy recommendations that all girls ages 11 or 12 should consider receiving the Human Pappillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in an effort to prevent cervical cancer. What investigations led to this controversial recommendation? How did the CDC determine who should receive this vaccine and at what age?

Week 1 presented foundational concepts of epidemiology and described how epidemiology is used to improve population health. Building on that information, this week, you will be introduced to descriptive epidemiologic research studies. You will examine the purposes of descriptive epidemiology, which provides a picture of the distribution of disease in terms of person, place, and time. You will also look at sources of health data that can be useful for this type of research. By understanding the descriptive characteristics of diseases, public health nurses and health care providers can develop hypotheses related to diseases. They can then address these further by using analytic epidemiologic study techniques, which will be discussed in subsequent weeks.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

· Evaluate a population health problem in terms of person, place, and time

· Assess strengths and limitations of health data sources

· Analyze methods for collecting raw descriptive epidemiologic data

  

Learning Resources

Required Readings

Friis, R. H., & Sellers, T. A. (2021). Epidemiology for public health practice (6th ed.). Jones & Bartlett.

  • Chapter 3, “Measures of      Morbidity and Mortality Used in Epidemiology”

Chapter 3 examines several measures of disease frequency that are typically utilized in epidemiology.

  • Chapter 4, “Descriptive Epidemiology:      Person, Place, Time”

In Chapter 4, the authors address a basic premise of epidemiology: that disease occurs in patterns reflecting underlying factors (rather than occurring randomly). Using the tools introduced in Chapter 3, it is possible to take a more detailed look at the occurrence of disease, focusing on characteristics related to person, place, and time. This chapter also notes the distinction between descriptive versus analytic epidemiology; descriptive studies characterize the amount and distribution of disease within a population, whereas analytic epidemiology is concerned with the determinants of disease.

  • Chapter 5, “Sources of Data      for Use In Epidemiology”

Chapter 5 provides information about various data sources that are available to the general public, and the authors examine some of the critical issues related to data collection and use that require careful attention.

Friis, R. H., & Sellers, T. A. (2014). Descriptive epidemiology: Person, place, time. In Epidemiology for public health practice (5th ed.). Jones & Bartlett.

In Chapter 4, the authors address a basic premise of epidemiology: that disease occurs in patterns reflecting underlying factors (rather than occurring randomly). Using the tools introduced in Chapter 3, it is possible to take a more detailed look at the occurrence of disease, focusing on characteristics related to person, place, and time. This chapter also notes the distinction between descriptive versus analytic epidemiology; descriptive studies characterize the amount and distribution of disease within a population, whereas analytic epidemiology is concerned with the determinants of disease.

Friis, R. H., & Sellers, T. A. (2014). Sources of data for use in epidemiology. In Epidemiology for public health practice (5th ed.). Jones & Bartlett.

Chapter 5 provides information about various data sources that are available to the general public, and the authors examine some of the critical issues related to data collection and use that require careful attention.

Nash, D. B., Skoufalos, A., Fabius, R. J. & Oglesby, W. H.  (2021). Health promotion and health behavior. In Population health: Creating a culture of wellness (3rd ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning.

In Chapter 8 the authors explore the field of health promotion, including activities that help individuals to make informed health decisions. Prominent health behavior theories are explored. 

Nash, D. B., Skoufalos, A., Fabius, R. J. & Oglesby, W. H.  (2021). Consumer engagement and technology. In Population health: Creating a culture of wellness (3rd ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning.

In Chapter 9 the authors examine the use of information technology, noting that these technologies have empowered consumers to engage in a variety of health management activities. Consumer engagement related to the wellness industry, retail, and business are discussed. 

Required Media

Laureate Education (Producer). (2012). Epidemiology and population health [Interactive media]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

This presentation introduces you to the concept and calculation of important descriptive measures used in epidemiology—namely, incidence and prevalence. In addition, you will see how to use direct and indirect age-adjustment to compare mortality rates in two populations.

  

Discussion: Descriptive Epidemiology

HIV/AIDS was first recognized as an epidemic in the United States in 1981. At the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, the life expectancy for infected persons was less than 7 years. Today, because of research and new treatment options, people who begin treatment soon after diagnosis can expect to live a nearly normal life span (Cairns, 2010). The HIV/AIDS epidemic was identified through descriptive epidemiology.

Descriptive epidemiologic studies are often conducted as precursors to analytic studies. Epidemiologic concepts are used to gather data to better understand and evaluate health trends in populations. Data such as characteristics of the persons affected, place where an incident occurred, and time of occurrence are collected and analyzed to look for patterns in an effort to identify emerging health problems. In this Discussion, you will apply the epidemiologic concepts of time, place, and person to a specific population health problem.

To prepare:

· Consider a variety of population health problems, and then select one on which to focus for this Discussion.

· Identify a specific population affected by your selected health problem.

· Research the patterns of the disease in your selected population using the epidemiologic characteristics of person, place, and time.

· Explore three to five data sources presented in the Learning Resources that could aid you in describing the population and magnitude of the problem. Analyze the strengths and limitations of each data source.

· Consider methods for obtaining raw data to determine the variables of person, place, and time for your health problem. Ask yourself: How would the methods I select influence the accuracy of case identification, definition, and diagnosis?

By Day 3

Post a cohesive response that addresses the following:

· Evaluate your selected health problem in the population you identified by describing three to five characteristics related to person, place, and time.

· Appraise the data sources you utilized by outlining the strengths and limitations of each.

· Discuss two methods you could use to collect raw data to determine the descriptive epidemiology of your health problem, Determine how these methods would influence the completeness of case identification as well as the case definition/diagnostic criteria used.

· 1.5 pages in APA and cite at least 4 sources from the given sources

http://mym.cdn.laureate-media.com/2dett4d/Walden/CLRA/6235/02/mm/descriptive_measures/index.html

  

Week in Review

This week, you evaluated a population health problem and assessed strengths and limitations of health data sources. You also analyzed methods for collecting raw descriptive epidemiologic data.

Next week, you will examine analytic epidemiology designs that focus on the association between an exposure to a risk factor and the resulting health outcomes. You will also examine observational studies and why this approach could be appropriate for a specific health problem and population.

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