Advantages Of Using Epidemiology In CHN Practice

Afza.Malik GDA

Epidemiology and Community Health Nursing 

Advantages Of Using Epidemiology In CHN Practice

Association between CHN and epidemiology and outcomes or advantages of this relation.

  Epidemiology and Community Health Nursing 

    Epidemiology brings community health nursing a dynamic and exciting perspective. The process of epidemiology adds methods of hypothesising a new problem-solving technique to the nursing process for practice in the community.

    Epidemiology formulates new relationships and new association between nursing and public health. In today's challenging and provocative times, epidemiology assists nurses to meet changing community needs by nursing methods and tools that are held in common with all members of the multidisciplinary team. This common language improves inter-professional communication and trust. At the same time the unique attributes of nursing as a profession can be maintained and displayed within the framework of epidemiological methods and theory. The advantages of using an epidemiological perspective for nursing are as follows.

1. Epidemiology provides a framework within which basic science and behavioral science can be used for community nursing practice.

2. The nursing process extended through applications of epidemiological methods to describe community needs and evaluate nursing services.

3. Public health principle of family is the unit of society. Prevention and control of disease and health promotion are activated and quantifies through an epidemiological approach.

4. Epidemiology provides an inter-disciplinary language to promote inter professional communication and trust.

5. An epidemiological perspective provides a method of extending the relationship of family problems to community welfare.

6. The epidemiological model promotes understanding the relationship between the environment and agents that expose susceptible populations at risk of impediments to health.

7. Epidemiology provides time-honored method of quantifying nursing outcomes such as recidivism. Lack of compliance and activities of daily living, to promote and improve the quality of nursing care in the community.

    Further the study of the distributions of diseases and health related problems is not adequate. The fundamental aim of epidemiology is to search for factors which influence and determine the observed distributors. Illnesses in individuals are often determined by a selective operation of one or more factors. Further, our environment, and our blind destruction of it, is so complex that limiting our investigation to individual illnesses may contribute very little to our efforts to solve community health problems.

    The epidemiologist must examine a number of cases of similar diseases, or health-related problems as they occur throughout the population, and subsequently assist in identifying the operational factors in the afflicted group of the population. Thus, the discovery of factors causing or contributing to the occurrence of any particular disease or health problem is the most important concern of epidemiology.

    The satisfactions of scientific curiosity will lead to a more complete understanding of the occurrence of ill health. An increased understanding of the epidemiological approach in turn, will enable the providers of health services to plan, implement and assess effective measures of health promotion and the prevention and control of diseases and disabilities.

    The use of epidemiology helps the community health nurses in many ways because he/she is the person in the field who deals with the people in various settings. So, the epidemiology help community health nurses to identify and investigate the problems, formulatory alternative actions and implements the prevention and control of problem and also helps to evaluate the effectiveness of actions. 

    For example, nurses in the community have an active role in prevention and control of communicable disease which includes participation in early diagnosis and treatment, notification of certain specific diseases to the health authority, tracing the contact, keeping them under surveillance, identifying sources of injection and educating the people in genes. Hence, the knowledge of epidemiology is essential for any nurse for her fruitful practice.

Uses Of Epidemiology
Epidemiology helps

1. To study the effects of disease state in a population over a time and predict future health needs Here epidemiologists study the history of the health of the populations and the rise and fall of diseases and changes in their character and predict the future health needs.

2. To diagnose the health of the community Here the epidemiologists study the conditions of the people; to measure the distribution and dimension of illness in terms of incidence, prevalence, disability and mortality; to set health problems in perspective and to define their relative importance; and to identify groups needing special attention. New methods of monitoring must be constantly sought after. In short it helps in diagnosing the health status of the community.

3. To evaluate health services Here epidemiologists study the working of health services with a view to their improvement by evaluating the health care services in the community. Operational research shows how community expectations can result in the current provision of service. The success with which the services achieve their stated goals and the effect on community health have to be appraised in relation to resources. Action research can lead to future plants for better services, eg planning efficient research including drug trails and new methods of treatment.

4. To estimate the individual risk from group experiences Here the work of an epidemiologist is to estimate the risks of diseases, accident and defect, and chances of avoiding them. So it studies the effects of disease state in populations over a period of time and predicts the future health needs and provides the basis for preventive measures and their evaluation and also helps in logical planning of facilities for health care.

5. To identify the syndrome Here, the epidemiologist helps to identify syndromes by describing the distribution and association of clinical phenomena in the population or helps in evolving and describing the natural history of disease.

6. To complete the clinical picture of chronic diseases and describe their natural history It provides complete clinical picture of disease, so the preventions can be accomplished before disease becomes irreversible.

7. To search for causes of health and disease This can be done by comparing experience of that are clearly defined by their composition, inheritance, experience, behavior and environments. So, epidemiology helps in understanding the causation of dis ease and disability and providing data which helps to explain an etiology of disease and local disease patterns which in turn helps to test the hypothesis clinically or experimentally. The uses of epidemiology encompass two main components:

    The systematic collection of health data (including the utilization of data collected for other purposes).

a. Identification of health problems and assessment of priorities in allocations of resources, including surveillance.

b. Detection of new problems or changes in frequency of existing problems.

c. Identification of risk factors enabling efficient distribution of resources assigned to a particular problem. 

d. Evaluation of effectiveness of control program and formulation of hypotheses regarding the reasons for non-random disease distribution (disease etiology).

ii. The search for causes of ill health.

a. Identification of alterable causes.

b. Identification of susceptible groups for special surveillance.

c. Identification of disease entities.

d. Identification of early manifestations of disease or disease syndrome.

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