HSC 4010 Week 1 Assignment 3 Epidemiological Principles
Principles of Epidemiology
Public health workers use epidemiologic principles as the foundation for disease surveillance and investigation activities.
Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of health-related states or events in specified populations, and the application of this study to the control of health problems.
Every public health worker should be familiar with the basic principles in this definition and how they are useful.
Distribution – Epidemiology is concerned with the frequency and pattern of health events in a population. Frequency includes not only the number of events in a population, but also the rate or risk of disease in the population. Determining the rate of disease occurrences (number of events divided by size of the population) is critical for making valid comparisons across different populations.
Determinants – Epidemiology is also used to search for causes and other factors that influence the occurrence of health-related events. The occurrence of a health-related event is usually related to multiple determinants that should be considered. Examples of determinants include host susceptibility to a disease, and opportunity for exposure to a microorganism, environmental toxin, insect vector or other infected individual that may pose a risk for acquiring disease.
Specified populations – Epidemiologists are concerned with the collective health of people in a community or other area and the impact of health events on that population.
Application – Epidemiology provides data for directing public health action. An epidemiologist uses the scientific methods of descriptive and analytic epidemiology in “diagnosing” the health of a community, but also must call upon experience and creativity when planning how to control and prevent disease in the community.
Disease surveillance usually begins with descriptive epidemiology — defining the what, who, when and where of health-related events.
what – Define the disease events and/or its determinants
who – Descriptions of demographic characteristics are helpful in determining which groups are at risk for some outcome. The demographic characteristics usually include age, sex and race/ethnicity. Other categories include socioeconomic status, history of occupation, or smoking habits, which provide useful information about exposures that may present a risk. A history of underlying diseases may be useful for determining susceptibility to certain conditions.
when – Following changes in disease rates over time, following long-term disease trends and knowledge of the seasonality of certain diseases helps identify unusual occurrences that may define epidemics. Temporal associations between particular exposures on illness give information about incubation periods and exposures posing a risk to others.
where – Insight into the geographical extent of health-related events gives an idea of where the agent that causes a disease normally lives and multiplies, what may carry or transmit it and how it spreads.
The Primary Applications of Epidemiology in Public Health
To set policy and plan programs, public health officials must assess the health of the population they serve and must determine whether health services are available, accessible, effective and efficient. Epidemiology provides data for directing public health action. The information is used when planning how to control and prevent disease in the community. Through public health surveillance, a health systematically collects, analyzes, interprets and disseminates health data on an ongoing basis. By knowing the ongoing pattern of disease occurrence and disease potential, a health agency can effectively and efficiently investigate, prevent and control disease in the community.
Uses of Epidemiology
Count health-related events
Describe the distribution of health-related events in the population
Describe clinical patterns
Identify risk factors for developing diseases
Identify causes or determinants of disease
Identify control and/or preventive measures
Establish priorities for allocating resources
Select interventions for prevention and control
risk factors and causes
drug trials / vaccine trials
Discussion Questions (DQ)
• Initial responses to the DQ should address all components of the questions asked, include a minimum of one scholarly source, and be at least 250 words.
• Successful responses are substantive (i.e., add something new to the discussion, engage others in the discussion, well-developed idea) and include at least one scholarly source.
• One or two sentence responses, simple statements of agreement or “good post,” and responses that are off-topic will not count as substantive. Substantive responses should be at least 150 words.
• I encourage you to incorporate the readings from the week (as applicable) into your responses.
• Your initial responses to the mandatory DQ do not count toward participation and are graded separately.
• In addition to the DQ responses, you must post at least one reply to peers (or me) on three separate days, for a total of three replies.
• Participation posts do not require a scholarly source/citation (unless you cite someone else’s work).
• Part of your weekly participation includes viewing the weekly announcement and attesting to watching it in the comments. These announcements are made to ensure you understand everything that is due during the week.
APA Format and Writing Quality
• Familiarize yourself with APA format and practice using it correctly. It is used for most writing assignments for your degree. Visit the Writing Center in the Student Success Center, under the Resources tab in LoudCloud for APA paper templates, citation examples, tips, etc. Points will be deducted for poor use of APA format or absence of APA format (if required).
• Cite all sources of information! When in doubt, cite the source. Paraphrasing also requires a citation.
• I highly recommend using the APA Publication Manual, 6th edition.
Use of Direct Quotes
• I discourage overutilization of direct quotes in DQs and assignments at the Masters’ level and deduct points accordingly.
• As Masters’ level students, it is important that you be able to critically analyze and interpret information from journal articles and other resources. Simply restating someone else’s words does not demonstrate an understanding of the content or critical analysis of the content.
• It is best to paraphrase content and cite your source.
• For assignments that need to be submitted to LopesWrite, please be sure you have received your report and Similarity Index (SI) percentage BEFORE you do a “final submit” to me.
• Once you have received your report, please review it. This report will show you grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors that can easily be fixed. Take the extra few minutes to review instead of getting counted off for these mistakes.
• Review your similarities. Did you forget to cite something? Did you not paraphrase well enough? Is your paper made up of someone else’s thoughts more than your own?
• Visit the Writing Center in the Student Success Center, under the Resources tab in LoudCloud for tips on improving your paper and SI score.
• The university’s policy on late assignments is 10% penalty PER DAY LATE. This also applies to late DQ replies.
• Please communicate with me if you anticipate having to submit an assignment late. I am happy to be flexible, with advance notice. We may be able to work out an extension based on extenuating circumstances.
• If you do not communicate with me before submitting an assignment late, the GCU late policy will be in effect.
• I do not accept assignments that are two or more weeks late unless we have worked out an extension.
• As per policy, no assignments are accepted after the last day of class. Any assignment submitted after midnight on the last day of class will not be accepted for grading.
• Communication is so very important. There are multiple ways to communicate with me:
o Questions to Instructor Forum: This is a great place to ask course content or assignment questions. If you have a question, there is a good chance one of your peers does as well. This is a public forum for the class.
o Individual Forum: This is a private forum to ask me questions or send me messages. This will be checked at least once every 24 hours.