HSA 535 week 2 discussion: Applications of Epidemiology

Using the basics and applications of epidemiology from your weekly readings as a guideline, articulate in your own words the initial steps you would take in applying techniques in a field investigation of a childhood disease.

Epidemiology aims to use the appropriate tools that may exist to investigate and study diseases and disease outbreaks. The preparations to conduct a field investigation of a childhood disease can be grouped into two broad categories: (a) scientific and investigative issues, and (b) management and operational issues. Good preparation in both categories is needed to facilitate a smooth field experience. As a field investigator, you must have the appropriate scientific knowledge, supplies, and equipment to carry out the investigation before departing for the field. Before leaving for a field investigation, consult laboratory staff to ensure that you take the proper laboratory material and know the proper collection, storage, and transportation technique, a good field investigator must be a good manager and collaborator as well as a good epidemiologist, because most investigations are conducted by a team rather than just one individual. A communications plan must be established. The need for communicating with the public health and clinical community has long been acknowledged, but the need for communicating quickly and effectively with elected officials and the public became obvious during the epidemics of any disease. In addition, operational and logistical details are important. Arrange to bring a laptop computer, cell phone or phone card, camera, and other supplies. If you are arriving from outside the area, you should arrange in advance when and where you are to meet with local officials and contacts when you arrive in the field. Identifying information. A name, address, and telephone number is essential if investigators need to contact patients for additional questions and to notify them of laboratory results and the outcome of the investigation.


From the first e-Activity, evaluate, from a cost perspective, your state’s stand on the particular childhood disease you researched, and recommend at least five (5) steps to optimize on the present plan.

Alabama is one of the most obese states in the country, 30.9 percent of children are obese, and the combined obesity/overweight is a staggering 67 percent. A variety of studies show that close to 30 percent of youth in Alabama are obese, with the percentage higher than 60 percent in some counties. The implications of these statistics are frightening considering that children who are overweight have a 70 percent chance of becoming overweight as adults, which makes them more likely to be diagnosed with the related health problems and diseases later in life. The Institute of Medicine states that childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years nationwide. Childhood Obesity is Costly, Obesity-attributable medical expenditures were estimated at $1.06 Billion in 2003. In 2009, 1.2 billion dollars spent due to childhood obesity in AL projected to increase to $5.3 billion in 2018. If AL were to halt the increase in the prevalence of obesity at today’s levels, we could save $858 per child in 2018, a total of $3 billion.

Steps recommended to optimize on the present plan include:

1. Make physical activity an integral and routine part of life

2. Create food and beverage environments that ensure that healthy food and beverage options are the routine, easy choice

3. Transform messages about physical activity and nutrition

4. Expand the role of health care providers, insurers, and employers in obesity prevention

5. Make schools a national focal point for obesity prevention



Institute of Medicine Report: Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention – Solving the Weight of the Nation, 2012

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