Assignment 2: Defining the Problem and Research Methods

Sections 1 and 2 of Major Assessment 7: Using an Epidemiological Approach to Critically Analyze a Population Health Problem

How do culture and environment influence health? What role does personality play in health outcomes? How do stressful life events influence disease? As a health care professional, you have most likely witnessed the influence of psychosocial factors on individual health. These factors also have a significant impact on population health. Chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and heart disease, as well as degenerative diseases, can be studied at the population level through the use of epidemiologic methods (Friis, 2014). The insights gained from this type of research can then positively impact health outcomes locally, nationally, and globally.

As you continue working on Assignment 2, which is due by Thursday 04/05/2018 Day 5 of this week, consider how psychosocial factors influence your population and population health issue.

To complete:

In 5–6 pages, APA format with a minimum of five (5) scholarly references (see list of required readings below), write the following sections of your paper:

Section 1: The Problem

1) Introduction (ending with a purpose statement: “the purpose of this paper is…)

2) A brief outline of the environment you selected (i.e., home, workplace, school)

3) A summary of your selected population health problem in terms of person, place, and time, and the magnitude of the problem based on data from appropriate data resources (Reference the data resources you used.)

4) Research question/hypothesis (same as the one in assignment 1. I’m including an attachment of assignment 1 you did for me).

Section 2: Research Methods

1) The epidemiologic study design you would use to assess and address your population health problem

2) Assessment strategies (i.e., if you were conducting a case-control study, how would you select your cases and controls? Regarding the methods and tools, you would use to make these selections, how is it convenient for you as the researcher or as the investigator to use this tool?)

3) Summary of the data collection activities (i.e., how you would collect data—online survey, paper/pen, mailing, etc.)

4) Conclusion of the whole paper.

Required Readings

Friis, R. H., & Sellers, T. A. (2014). Epidemiology for public health practice (5th ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett.

Chapter 10, “Data Interpretation Issues”

Chapter 15, “Social, Behavioral, and Psychosocial Epidemiology”

Appendix A – Guide to the Critical Appraisal of an Epidemiologic/Public Health Research Article

In Chapter 10, the authors describe issues related to data interpretation and address the main types of research errors that need to be considered when conducting epidemiologic research, as well as when analyzing published results. It also presents techniques for reducing bias. Chapter 15 features psychosocial, behavioral, and social epidemiology. Appendix A includes criteria to consider when reading an empirical journal article.

Elliott, A. M., Smith, B. H., Penny, K., Smith, W. C., & Chambers, W. A. (1999). The epidemiology of chronic pain in the community. The Lancet, 354(9186), 1248–1252.

This article describes an early epidemiologic study on chronic pain. Carefully review this article noting the structure of the research design, assessment and data collection, and analysis strategies. You will refer to this article for Discussion 2.

Oppenheimer, G. M. (2010). Framingham Heart Study: The first 20 years. Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, 53(1), 55–61.

The Framingham Heart Study is a landmark epidemiologic study that began in the 1940s. The author of this article reviews the history of the Framingham Heart Study and its contribution to population health. As you read this article, consider any sources of bias or potential conflict of interest. You will refer to this article for Discussion 2.

Phillips, C. V., & Goodman, K. J. (2004). The missed lessons of Sir Austin Bradford Hill. Epidemiologic Perspectives & Innovations, 1(3). Retrieved from http://www.biomedcentral.com/1742-5573/1/3

In 1965, Austin Bradford Hill worked on a paper that has become a standard in public health and epidemiologic study about how to make decisions based on epidemiologic evidence. Hill put forth strategies for inferring causation and stressed the need for considering costs and benefits when planning health-promoting interventions. Review this article, which examines how Hill’s strategies are often misused or misinterpreted.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011). CDC health disparities and inequalities report—United States, 2011. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Supplement, (60), 1–114. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/other/su6001.pdf. [Read pages 11–32]

This report consolidates national data on disparities in mortality, morbidity, behavioral risk factors, health care access, preventive health services, and social determinants of critical health problems in the United States by using selected indicators. The required section of reading introduces the social determinants of health and environmental hazards.

World Health Organization. (2011). Social determinants of health. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/social_determinants/en/

According to the World Health Organization, “The social determinants of health are mostly responsible for health inequities—the unfair and avoidable differences in health status seen within and between countries.” This article presents an introduction to social determinants of health.

World Health Organization. (2011). Social determinants of health: Key concepts. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/social_determinants/thecommission/finalreport/key_concepts/en/index.html

This article outlines key concepts related to the social determinants of health.

Healthy People 2020. (2011). Social determinants of health. Retrieved from http://healthypeople.gov/2020/topicsobjectives2020/overview.aspx?topicid=39

This website presents an overview of the social determinants of health and addresses how the information relates to Healthy People 2020.

UCL Institute of Health Equity. (2012). ‘Fair society healthy lives’ (The Marmot Review). Retrieved from http://www.instituteofhealthequity.org/projects/fair-society-healthy-lives-the-marmot-review

Optional Resources

Genaidy, A. M., Lemasters, G. K., Lockey, J., Succop, P., Deddens, J., Sobeih, & Dunning, K. (2007). An epidemiological appraisal instrumental – a tool for evaluation of epidemiological studies. Ergonomics, 50(6), 920–960.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011). Social determinants of health. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/socialdeterminants/

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