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Epidemiological Study Designs - Assignment Example

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Epidemiological Study Designs Student’s First name, Middle initial and Last name Name of University Prof. First and Last name of lecturer July 8, 2012 Epidemiological Study Designs Epidemiological studies focus on investigating disease outbreaks, the reason for its occurrence, and its effect on specific populations or communities (Aschengrau & Seage, 2003)…
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Epidemiological Study Designs
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Download file to see previous pages These elements are: 1. Person (Who was affected?): This includes demographic information like age, gender, and ethnicity. Other factors include genetic predisposition, concurrent diseases, diet, exercise, smoking and risk taking behaviors, socioeconomic status, education and occupation. Factors like age can have direct links to diseases where very young or very old people may be more susceptible to certain diseases. Factors like religion have indirect links to diseases wherein certain religious practices can make a person more or less susceptible to diseases. 2. Place (Where were they affected?): This includes information like geographic location, presence of agents or vectors, climate, geology, population density, economic development, nutritional practices and medical practices. This information is essential for investigating a known disease outbreak and also for the surveillance system to detect an outbreak. 3. Time (When were they affected?): This includes information like calendar time, time since an event, physiological cycles, seasonality and temporal trends. This information is important to determine if an outbreak has occurred or if the increase in incidence is caused due to natural increase over time or seasonal variations in symptoms. Person, Place and Time Related to Observational Study Design Observational study design refers to epidemiological studies that involve observing individuals or measuring certain outcomes without making any attempt to influence the outcome (Aschengrau & Seage, 2003). In this study, the investigator passively observes the course of nature unlike the experimental study design wherein the investigator actively manipulates certain variables. Descriptive observational studies involve the analysis of disease patterns by studying the causes, prevention and treatment of diseases. The data for this study is collected in terms of the characteristics of person, place, and time using surveys or surveillance programs. In the context of dental public health consider an observational study conducted by Arnold (1957) pertaining to the effectiveness of fluoridation of water in preventing and controlling dental caries. In this study, the three major elements are: Person: All children between the ages of 5 and 16 Place: Elementary and secondary schools in Grand Rapids, Michigan Time: 11 years from 1944 to 1955 The authors of this study merely observed the rate of dental caries in school going children between the ages of 5 and 16 for a period of 11 years. A baseline data was collected in 1944 before the fluoridation of water was initiated in Grand Rapids, Michigan and the target population was closely observed for a period of 11 years till 1955. The results revealed that the prevalence of dental caries reduced by 60 to 65% among children who were born after the water fluoridation program was initiated. Water fluoridation was also found to have significantly positive effect on teeth which were formed or erupted before the implementation of the fluoridation program. This study therefore helped to determine how the rate of dental caries changed over time after fluoridation of water was implemented. Person, Place and Time Related to Experimental Study Design Experimental study design refers to epidemiological studies that involve the manipulation of one or more variables to determine their effect on a dependent variable (Aschengrau & Se ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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