Measuring Health Status
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Health Status: a term used to describe the state of an individual/community. Measured against an identifiable standard
Role of Epidemiology
What is Epidemiology?
- The study of patterns of sickness and death of the population
- It provides information on the distribution (patterns) of disease, illness and injury and the likely causes
Measures Of Epidemiology
- Life Expectancy: the average number of years a person of a given age and gender is expected to live
- Mortality Rates: death rates – a measure of the number of deaths from a specific cause in a given period of time (usually a year)
- Infant Mortality Rates: measure of annual deaths of children under one year of age per 1000 live births
- Age-specific Mortality Rate: number of deaths to specific age groups in a year per 1000
- Morbidity Rates: measures of the level of disease and sickness in a society.
- Prevalence: the number of cases of the disease combined
- Incidence: The number of new cases over a set period of time.
What can Epidemiology Tell Us?
- Monitoring the major causes of sickness and death to identify any emerging issues or inequalities
- Identifying areas of need so prevention and treatment interventions can be targeted
- Determining priority areas for the allocation of government funding
- Monitoring the use of health care services and facilities
- Evaluating the effectiveness of any prevention and treatment programs
Who uses Epidemiology?
- Policy Developers at all levels of Government
- The manufacturers of health products
- The providers of health services
- Individual consumers
Do they measure everything about health status?
- No, Epidemiology is simply a study of the patterns of health not total health. It has been challenged as focusing mostly on the physical health issues.
- Doesn’t explain socio-cultural factors
- Doesn’t take into account influencing factors like social factors
- Doesn’t show variations between population sub groups
- Doesn’t evaluate quality of life
- This page is a stub and is incomplete.
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