Epidemiology: health surveillance, health protection and health equity
- Acquire an increased understanding of epidemiology as a population health research
- 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
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
- 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?
o What were the outcomes?
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-
- 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?