Unit 1: What is Descriptive Epidemiology?
Introduction to Epidemiology, to the most frequently used measures and calculations, and to an investigative process that might be used by a health manager to resolve a health problem in a community.
- As a clinician monitors the course of illness in the patient, so the Public Health worker must continually assess progress within the community. The most powerful tool at the disposal of Public Health workers to diagnose and monitor community health is epidemiology (A. O. Lucas in Vaughan & Morrow, 1989).
Unit 1 is an introduction to epidemiology and provides a foundation for studying the rest of the module. The module begins by asking you to identify areas of your current work environment in which you are likely to undertake epidemiological tasks. It then proceeds to explore the meaning of epidemiology, its main characteristics and its role in understanding health and disease. Sessions 1 and 3 provide the conceptual foundation for the rest of the module, and guide you through the most frequently used measures and calculations you are required to use. Work through them carefully, completing all tasks to make sure you grasp the different concepts and epidemiological measures.
In Session 2, you are introduced to the investigative process that might be used by a health manager faced with a health problem in a community: you will try out a set of key questions that can be used to interrogate any set of data. In Session 4, you are guided through the process of reading critically for a literature review. The final study session is designed to support you in preparing your first assignment.
There are five study sessions in Unit 1.
Study Session 1: What is Epidemiology?
Study Session 2: Investigating Health Problems.
Study Session 3: Epidemiological Information.
Study Session 4: Reading Epidemiology Reports and Articles.
Study Session 5: Search and Review Relevant Literature (Assignment 1)
In the course of this unit, you will be encouraged to read texts and do a range of tasks that will lead to your achieving these outcomes:
Intended Learning Outcomes
By the end of this unit you should be able to:
Health Measurement Outcomes
Academic Learning Outcomes