NURS 8310 Week 2:Sources of Population Health Data

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NURS 8310/ NURS 8310F/ NURS 8310M/ NURS 8310A/ NURS 8310C Week 2: Descriptive Epidemiology and Sources of Population Health Data essay assignment

NURS 8310/ NURS 8310F/ NURS 8310M/ NURS 8310A/ NURS 8310C: Epidemiology and Population Health | Week 2 essay assignment

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?

NURS 8310 Week 2:Sources of Population Health Data essay assignment

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

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.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

By Day 6

Respond to at least two of your colleagues in one or more of the following ways:

  • Ask a probing question, substantiated with additional background information, evidence, or research.
  • Share an insight from having read your colleagues’ postings, synthesizing the information to provide new perspectives.
  • Offer and support an alternative perspective using readings from the classroom or from your own research in the Walden Library.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience and additional research.
  • Make a suggestion based on additional evidence drawn from readings or after synthesizing multiple postings.
  • Expand on your colleagues’ postings by providing additional insights or by contrasting perspectives based on readings and evidence.


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