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Ryerson University
Josephine Wong

Epidemiology: health surveillance, health protection and health equity - Acquire an increased understanding of epidemiology as a population health research method - Acquire an increased understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of epidemiology in guiding population health promotion - Acquire an increased understanding of how to apply epidemiological data in community situational assessment What is epidemiology? - The study of health related states (health, illnesses, disease patterns) and /or events(outbreaks, disasters) in terms of: o Occurrence or frequency o Distribution (geographic, or social patterns) o Determinants of health and illness patterns) - Purpose: to promote health, prevent illness, and to reduce health disparities Epidemiology asks: - Who in a population is affected by a disease, health condition, or injury? - What, when and where do these health conditions occur in the community? - Can the causative factors, risk factors or risk conditions which contribute to these health conditions be determined? Epidemiology and population: NOT quite a new phenomenon - Early 19 century: o Epidemics: typhoid, cholera, etc. o Miasma Theory o Sanitary Movement (Porter, 1999) - Observations by Edwin Chadwick, Florence Nightingale: Poverty-Poor health - 1854- Cholera outbreak in Soho, London o The epi work of John Snow: cholera outbreak, the Broad Street pump - Mid-18 century… infectious diseasae epidemiology o What made the Germ Theory previously impossible?  Lack of technology o What made Germ Theory possible?  New technology o What were the outcomes?  Vaccines, treatments Importance of epidemiology - Helps determine the etiology, risk factors (social determinants) or risk conditions (don‟t put blame on individual but look at the societal factors) of disease - Helps in the study of injuries and injury prevention - What other health issues/concerns does epidemiology help to identify? Public health uses epidemiology to: Determine need for programs and services, develop programs and services, evaluate programs and services, control infectious and communicable diseases Epidemiology and community health/public health - A way to describe and analyze the overall health of an entire population and sub- populations - A method to measure health status, disease occurrence and determinants of health - Provide a snapshot of major health challenges and conditions experienced by populations - Can you think of any other functions of epidemiology? – use this to do cause anyalysis and then change policies Infectious Disease Epidemiology: The Classic Epidemiological Triad - Agent (bacteria, viruses), Environment, Host(human) - What are the weaknesses?
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