The principles of epidemiologic inquiry

Briefly scan the health assessment information from (www.countyhealthrankings.org, www.vdh.virginia.gov, and www.cdc.gov/brfss/smart/smart_data.htm) to get a more detailed picture of the health status of Virginians in that specific locale or region. Then, look more closely at the health data concerning 1 of the 5 health ranking determinants that if improved, could lead to Virginia receiving a better health ranking in the future. Following the principles of epidemiologic inquiry, answer the following questions regarding the information you uncovered about 1 health determinant in the selected county or community. 1) Person: Describe the population expressing the determinant o How many (percentage of population or rate) are described by this determinant? o How is the determinant expressed in the population (age, gender, education, socioeconomic status, or other characteristics)? o Compare segments of the population (who has the most/least, at greatest/least risk)? 2) Place: Describe the location with regard to the determinant o Is the determinant seen more in urban or rural regions? o What other characteristics define the prevalence of the determinant in the region (housing, geography, topography, etc.)? o Compare other locations with the one you selected (how does prevalence compare in neighboring counties, the state, or the nation)? •3) Period: Describe the time trends of the determinant o Over the past few years, has the prevalence rate decreased or increased or stayed about the same? (i.e., is it getting better or worse?) o Compare the time trends of the state and the nation with those of your location. Are they better, worse, or similar? •4) Conclusion: From the information you gathered about the health determinant, describe a priority population within the locale you investigated in which to address the health determinant of focus.

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