Epidemiology

:
 Study

of the occurrence and distribution of health conditions such as disease, death, deformities, or disabilities of human populations  Nurse measures frequency and distribution of health conditions using VITAL STATISTICAL INDICES  Used to analyze different factors that contribute to disease development

Epidemiology rests on two important concepts: 1. Multiple Causation Theory 2. Levels of prevention of health problems

Multiple Causation Theory
“ Disease development does not rest on a single cause.”
 There

are 3 models to explain the theory: 1. The Wheel 2. The Web 3. The Ecologic Triad (most helpful to the nurse)

The Ecologic Triad
-Any element, substance or -sum total of all external force, animate or inanimate, conditions and influences: presence or absence of which may serve as stimulus Physical, Biological, to initiate/ perpetuate a disease Socio-economic process.

ENVIRONMENT

AGENT

HOST
-any organism that harbors and nourishes another organism -characteristics of host will affect its susceptibility or resistance

 The

three elements of the triad interact with one another in an attempt to maintain an equilibrium.  Any major change in any one of the factors may bring about a disturbance in the equilibrium provoking the appearance of a health problem.

Levels of Prevention of Health Problems
“Promoting health and preventing health problems make up most of the nurse’s activity in the community. Prevention refers to identification of potential problems and further eradication or minimization of disability in a population-at-risk to a NEGATIVE EXPOSURE FACTOR.

1. Primary Prevention
 Directed

to the healthy population  Prevention of emergence of risk factors  Interventions before agent enters host  Aims to strengthen host resistance, inactivate the agent, interrupt the chain  Health promotion activities: provision of proper nutrition, safe water supply and waste disposal system, vector

2. Secondary Prevention
 Aims

to identify and treat existing health problems at the earliest possible time  Interventions: screening, casefinding, disease surveillance, prompt and appropriate treatment  Disease prevention: health teaching on risk factors and health risk behaviors that contribute to development of disease

3. Tertiary Prevention
 Limits

disability progression  Nurse attempts to reduce magnitude or severity of the residual effects

“in explaining the interrelationship of factors that bring about community health problems, epidemiological approach is being used, specifically DESCRIPTIVE EPIDEMIOLOGY.”

Descriptive Epidemiology
 Aims

to describe the occurrence of health conditions in the community in terms of person, place and time characteristics.  Various aspects involved in descriptive epidemiology include: 1. Observation and recording of existing patterns of occurrence of health conditions 2. Description of the condition as to person, place and time characteristics 3. Analysis of the general pattern of occurrence

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