# BIO 550 Week 5 Discussion Questions

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## BIO 550 Week 5 Discussion Questions

BIO 550 Week 5 Discussion Questions

DQ1 What is the difference between incidence and prevalence? Present supportive details in your explanation.

DQ2 Describe when and why you would use relative risk. Justify your rationale.

Calculation of Prevalence or Incidence

• When calculating prevalence, researchers must also deal with the denominator issue – who is in the population? This includes questions of risk – is the measure directed at the whole population or only those at risk? In the case of period prevalence, the denominator may have changed over time due to loss to follow-up or migration.

Three alternative suggestions for use when calculating population based prevalence/incidence rates have been made when dealing with MCHP data. Typically three years of data have been used to identify conditions within the MCHP data, but other time periods can also be used. Researchers and programmers may find point or one year prevalence easer to calculate than longer periods.

BIO 550 Week 5 Discussion Questions

1. Cohort type study using the whole population found to be resident in Manitoba across all three years and falling within the age limits defined for the study for the whole time.
2. Use of a single date (e.g. Dec 31) within the middle year for the population and identifying the location of residence by the most frequent occurrence and the age as of the population date. This the most common method used at MCHP.
3. Define the population based on the average number of individuals across each of the three years.

BIO 550 Week 5 Discussion Questions

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4. Sensitivity Testing

• Currently no systematic comparison at MCHP has been made to determine the difference between each method but

Roos et al. (1999) (Appendix A.))

•  showed very small difference between different denominator calculations. This same paper indicates that changes in the methods for screening diagnosis may have a greater impact. Unpublished work done as part of the First Nations deliverable showed a difference of approximately 3% between two methods of identifying diabetics (19% – 22%) across all of Manitoba. It is likely that the latter two methods for identifying the population will over-estimate the prevalence rate.

Researchers should be careful not to confuse a 3 year case definition with a 3 year prevalence measure. Three years of data (e.g. physician claims) can be used to identify cases. This information could then be used to calculate either point or one year period prevalence. Point and one year period prevalence is more commonly used as a measure of prevalence in the literature.

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