HLT 362 Topic 5 Discussion Question one
Topic 5 DQ 1
Describe how epidemiological data influences changes in health practices. Provide an example and explain what data would be necessary to make a change in practice.
REPLY TO DISCUSSION
Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of health-related states or events within a specified population, its purpose being to inform decisions about the control of health problems (Hannaford & Owen-Smith, 1998). Epidemiological data can be useful in health practices to help promote health and well-being and save lives by collecting data. This data should include: what? How much? When? Where? and among whom? (CDC, 2018). Epidemiological data influences changes in health practices because it gathers and analyzes all aspects of a disease process, allowing for the development of best practices and evidence-based approaches that directly impact people’s lives. Collecting epidemiological data will affect healthcare policy by revealing how things are connected and whether making improvements results in different outcomes. For example, to stop germs from infecting more people, we must break the chain of infection. The infectious agent, reservoir, portal of exit, mode of transmission, portal of entry, and susceptible host are all part of the chain. Hand hygiene has been described as essential in breaking the chain of infection based on epidemiological evidence.
Example of Epidemiology Data
The COVID-19 pandemic we are currently facing is an example of how epidemiological evidence affects improvements in health practices. Epidemiologists collaborate with other scientists to determine who has been infected, why they have been infected, and what the CDC may do to help (CDC, 2020). Epidemiologists could pinpoint the outbreak’s source, track and control the disease, and determine risk factors, transmission mode, and the most appropriate treatment. They devise strategies for slowing the disease’s spread and reducing its effects. The guidelines include masking, social distancing, personal protective equipment (PPE), and adequate hand washing.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2020). About COVID-19 Epidemiology, Investigating Covid-19: The Science Behind CDC’s Response. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/about-epidemiology/index.html
Hannaford, P. C., & Owen-Smith, V. (1998). Using epidemiological data to guide clinical practice: review of studies on cardiovascular disease and use of combined oral contraceptives. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 316(7136), 984–987. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.316.7136.984
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As nurses, we play an important role in educating the public about epidemiology prevention. The latest pandemic of COVID-19 has
been challenging for health officials and providers to take control. This present historical account of the past 800 years looks specifically at how some aspects of education were shaped from the early medieval epidemics such as leprosy and the Black Plague to the Spanish Flu and COVID-19 (Spielman, 2021). Such education focuses on hand washing, protecting ones self from the ill, quarantining and vaccination.
Spielman AI, Sunavala-Dossabhoy G. Pandemics and education: A historical review. J Dent Educ. 2021 Jun;85(6):741-746. doi: 10.1002/jdd.12615. Epub 2021 Apr 19. PMID: 33876429
Hello Irene ,
I really enjoy reading your discussion post and I found it interesting and I love how you explain epidemiology and I couldn’t agree with you more because as you said ” Epidemiological data can be useful in health practices to help promote health and well-being and save lives by collecting data ” (Igbinosa, 2022) which you’re correct good job.
Epidemiology is the study of disease appearance, course, spread, and eradication. Data is raw unorganized information from which conclusions can be made. The purpose of epidemiological data is to influence changes in health practices. If as healthcare providers, we did not collect and look at data that concerns disease we would not be able to diagnosis and treat the disease. The epidemiological data influences the change in the health practices as it is the study of distribution and determinants of health-related events in specific populations (Fairchild et al. 2018). The epidemiological data inform the health authorities and public of the issues in the health department. The data are then used to estimate the frequency of diseases and the improvements needed to resolve the issues. The health status due to certain diseases, the risk factors of disease, and the relationship between the disease agents and health.
Cancer Epidemiology data has significantly contributed to determining the distribution, determinants, and frequency of malignant disease in specific populations (Aren & Loftfield, 2017). New diagnoses of breast cancer are presented by demographic and clinical/histological variables that include cancer grade, behavior, stage, and histological type at diagnosis. Data on the increased incidence rates of breast cancer would and has caused the medical practice to make changes in diagnosis and treatment. According to the American Cancer Society, several studies are looking most closely at the effect of exercise, weight gain or loss, and diet on risk. Studies on the best use of genetic testing for breast cancer mutations continue at a rapid pace. Scientists are exploring how common gene variations (small changes in genes that are not as significant as mutations) may affect breast cancer risk. Gene variants typically have only a modest effect on risk, but when taken together they could possibly have a large impact. Possible environmental causes of breast cancer have also received more attention in recent years.
Arem, H., & Loftfield, E. (2017). Cancer Epidemiology: A Survey of Modifiable Risk Factors for Prevention and Survivorship. American journal of lifestyle medicine, 12(3), 200–210. doi:10.1177/1559827617700600.
Fairchild, G., Tasseff, B., Khalsa, H., Generous, N., Daughton, A. R., Velappan, N., Priedhorsky, R., & Deshpande, A. (2018). Epidemiological Data Challenges: Planning for a More Robust Future Through Data Standards. Frontiers in public health, 6, 336. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2018.00336