Briefly describe the research and discuss how this article represents an epidemiological study.
A research was conducted concerning the uprising influenza pandemic inclusive of its colossal spread among individuals within the same setting. The study - conducted between 2017 and 2018 - focused on the prevalence, the impact of the flu vaccine, and effect of the vaccine on populations (Sullivan, 2016). Moreover, the study works on outlining the purpose of epidemiological research through explaining the determinants of disease and health conditions including its distribution (where, when, and who). The study was conducted to determine the effectiveness of vaccines to curb influenza and prevent mass loss of lives (McGuire, 2016).
Why is this an epidemiological study and not another type of health research?
Epidemiological research tends to focus on the pattern or trend of an ailment or health-related complication. On the other hand, health research goes more in-depth when it comes to solving matters relating to the physical, social and emotional well-being of an individual. The epidemiological study will focus more on displaying groups affected by the disease and develop data-driven approaches to collecting, evaluation/analysis, and interpretation of information (Zhao, 2015). Such studies depend on the use of control groups and careful observation of cases to develop a quantifiable, yet factual and realistic report. Heath research, nonetheless, aims to provide proper medication to vast populations rather than specific groups, communities, or individuals.
What have you discovered about the current practice of epidemiology from reading this article?
Epidemiology has been described as a concept that revolves over time despite geographical orientation (Dionne, 2015). The study has shed light on the vitality of having associations or entities which purpose to fight for a common good - providing health to vast masses without discrimination. Additionally, the article emphasizes the need to understand a disease, develop measures or treatment procedures needed, and ensure the program touches the whole communal fraternity. The report expounds on how to deliver well-informed documentation that reveals the necessary information required to express its intended purpose (Moscoe, 2015).
Discuss the connections you see between your current study and the historical development of epidemiology.
Influenza, considered among the most communicable diseases worldwide, has been a pandemic since the 1700s. During such a period, research was focused on how to control the disease especially among the elderly (Peter, 2017). It so happened that the victims were secluded from society to avoid spreading the disease. However, through innovation and research, an introduction of the vaccine has transformed the world - especially to victims of influenza. Both scenarios, the historical and contemporary settings, share the aspect of research and the determination to develop medicine strong enough to eradicate the disease.
How has the past informed how the current study was conducted?
During the past, passing information was a difficult task as people were victimized for developing research on critical matters affecting the society. Epidemiology was never accepted as an ideal health care practice due to how it described issues crucially, especially those affecting marginalized groups (Su et al., 2015). Such research techniques, as time progressed, were appreciated as essential tools needed to determine the impact of a disease from the grassroots level, i.e., the less fortunate. The research focuses on all groups without bias, unlike previous research that dwelt on special groups neglecting those in need. Furthermore, the presence of international organizations supporting epidemiology has helped propel the study. Thereby, practitioners end up being encouraged and developing real principles concerned with the objectives of appreciating public health (Gibson, 2016).
Include connections to at least one historical epidemiological study or figure.
Historical research expresses how the influenza pandemic was affecting lives especially the mortality rates. The studies conducted develop criteria on how formulated reports and interaction with control experiments led to intensive research on the topic. Furthermore, the urge for health experts to develop measures and techniques to control influenza led to the manufacturing of a vaccine (Blouin-Genest, 2017). Recent research has significantly highlighted the diversity in space and time on how pandemics were comprehensively dealt with.
Link to the article used: https://theconversation.com/influenza-the-search-for-a-universal-vaccine-90908
Describe your reaction upon beginning this course.
Public Health, according to Lewis (2015), can be described as an entity of research on the social, psychological and emotional well-being of an individual. The course poses a demand for health practitioners, I included, to devote themselves to the practice and be part of innovative research concerning health-related issues. Furthermore, the course calls for intensive scientific analysis and quantification of collected data to develop alternative measures to ailments (Hills, 2015). The interest in understanding epidemiology, nonetheless, has emerged as fragmentary, yet sporadic academic field. The practice calls for commitment, creativity and adjustment to social environments regarding the inclusion of health, inclusive of its awareness, to the community. The area is expanding at an impressive rate due to its following benefits - leadership opportunities, job security and growth, improvement of societal and global health, and empowerment of the youth (Eisman, 2016).
What are you hoping to gain from taking this course?
The purpose of taking the course is to;
Have the ability to understand both the cause and natural history of disease thereby evaluating effective measures on how to curb the ailment.
Assess the effectiveness and efficiency of treatment and preventative procedures needed to eradicate or control the spread of disease.
Identify, analyze and evaluate the causes and potential risk factors leading to contracting a disease.
Identify the sequence of occurrence of disease within populations and identify appropriate measures to control the spread of disease.
Determine regularity of ailments within societies, inclusive of proper measures to accommodate and control affected individuals, i.e., "patients."
The primary purpose of taking the course is also to preserve public health through advocating for treatment and prevention of disease. The ability to apply acquired skills or expertise to control the spread, inclusive of its mutation, to societal members (Mumford, 2016).
Are you already familiar with epidemiological concepts and methods? If so, why?
In health research, one has to be fully aware of the necessary methods and concepts revolving around epidemiology. Personally, I understand the concepts to develop appropriate measures needed in, case example, determining the distribution or spread of a disease within a population (Bhopal, 2016). Furthermore, there is need to understand the concepts to be able to relate to the ailment and have the capacity to deal with the issue at ease. Therefore, these methods/techniques and concepts are necessary to a practitioner to help them build on their research. Additionally, they assist in identifying control measures and solutions needed to solve a specific case. The concepts and ideas help in developing an innovative character to help initiate creative alternatives to deal with an uncontrolled health-related occurrence, instead, an epidemic.
Which topics are most interesting to you, and why?
Public health focuses on a vast array of topics. However, the most notable ones include:
Climate change, environmental health, racism and health and substance misuse. The mentioned topics touch on fundamental issues affecting the world nowadays. Furthermore, a subject like a climate change focuses on how the industrialization and detrimental activities of man have affected the environment (Guzman, 2015). The latter being the development of mutated ailments and prevalence of disease, especially communicable sicknesses. Additionally, the topics have not been exhausted thereby, giving room for more research about the revolutionizing society.
How do you think epidemiology impacts positive social change?
Epidemiology has some essential notions necessary to boost its social attributes, i.e., work stress, social capital, mutual relationships, and social inequalities (Berkman et al., 2014). These concepts are ideal for understanding the impact of epidemiology on the psychological well-being of individuals in society. The ability of a health expert to know how a community perceives a disease (for example, seclusion of sickly individuals or victimization of infected persons) and develop effective ways to control such issues (De Koch, 2017). Social inequality, a concept describing the uneven, yet unethical distribution of opportunities, services, and goods within a society or group. Therefore, health practitioners have the mandate of creating and initiating programs advocating for the preservation of the health of communities and families without discrimination.
How do you think that you will or can use information from this course in your career as a public health professional to effect positive social change?
The course will act as a guide for creating innovative measures necessary to control the spread of disease (Lawrence et al., 2016). The skills and knowledge gained will be essential to determine alternatives needed when dealing with critical health issues. Nonetheless, the course will help me appreciate the need for understanding social determinants and distribution of health (Ferrer, 2018). To further understand why specific ailments become a barrier to promoting ultimate solutions, case example; developing effective measures needed to eradicate cancerous cells from a patient without undergoing chemotherapy completely (Schnipper, 2015). I would like to establish health-related conceptual frameworks necessary to boost healthcare and propel the profession to another level.
Berkman, L. F., Kawachi, I., & Glymour, M. M. (Eds.). (2014). Social epidemiology. Oxford University Press.
Bhopal, R. S. (2016). Concepts of epidemiology: integrating the ideas, theories, principles, and methods of epidemiology. Oxford University Press.
Blouin-Genest, G., & Miller, A. (2017). The politics of participatory epidemiology: Technologies, social media and influenza surveillance in the US. Health policy and technology, 6(2), 192-197.
De Kock, C., Decorte, T., Vanderplasschen, W., Derluyn, I., & Sacco, M. (2017). Studying ethnicity, problem substance use and treatment: From epidemiology to social change. Drugs: education, prevention and policy, 24(3), 230-239.
Dionne, K. R., Warnakulasuriya, S., Binti Zain, R., & Cheong, S. C. (2015). Potentially malignant disorders of the oral cavity: current practice and future directions in theclinic and laboratory. International journal of cancer, 136(3), 503-515.
Eisman, A. B., Zimmerman, M. A., Kruger, D., Reischl, T. M., Miller, A. L., Franzen, S. P., & MorrelSamuels, S. (2016). Psychological empowerment among urban youth: Measurement model and associations with youth outcomes. American journal of community psychology, 58(3-4), 410-421.
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