Descriptive Epidemiology in the Nursing Science

Role and Relationship

Even though significant progress has taken place in nursing science, further advances must be made in order to retain service quality at a high level. Innovative solutions and discoveries are needed to promote improvements and adjust services to patient-specific needs. Descriptive epidemiology (DE), in turn, assists in developing nursing science due to the focus on the needs of specific population groups (Sanders et al., 2015). Thus, the subject matter provides the platform for addressing health issues within a community with greater precision and improved outcomes.

The significance of DE in nursing cannot possibly be underrated. DE is currently defined as the area of study that involves exploring health issues from the perspective of community health issues (Hruby et al., 2016). Therefore, the role of DE expands to the analysis of the existing health threats and the forecasts of future ones based on the unique properties of community members. Due to the current steep rise in diversity levels within communities, DE must be recognized as an essential tool for driving the nursing science forward. Implying impressive advances in both science and practical application of nursing theories, DE offers extensive opportunities for improving the quality of care and creating new ways of catering to the needs of target populations.

Although DE is not linked to nursing science directly, there are multiple points of contact between the two. DE creates the platform for managing the needs of patients from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds (Sanders et al., 2015). In addition, with the help of DE, one can successfully identify and even prevent the instances of disease development within a particular community (Hruby et al., 2016). Therefore, the relationship between DE and nursing science can be defined as reciprocal. DE informs the choice of strategies used for managing health concerns within a specific community and, thus, expands the opportunities of NS. The latter, in turn, also determines the scope and the range of tools that can be used to conduct epidemiologic research (Khamisa, Oldenburg, Peltzer, & Ilic, 2015).

Descriptive Epidemiology in Public Health: A Contemporary Example

DE allows using innovative and effective tools for determining current health concerns and handling the issues that the members of a specific community face. Therefore, the effects of DE on public health (PH) are doubtlessly positive. Due to the ample opportunities for not only investigating health concerns but also mobilizing community members to act respectively, DE must be deemed as one of the essential PH management tools (Banderali et al., 2015). When supported with the use of contemporary devices and innovative technology, DE becomes an important element of building awareness within a community.

Indeed, with the inclusion of mass communication tools such as social networks, DE serves a paramount role in redefining people’s attitudes toward health issues. The specified positive change includes the management of target audiences’ well-being, awareness of key threats, promotion of cooperation and information sharing within a community, and subversion of harmful myths associated with health. Put differently, apart from helping to create proper health management strategies, DE empowers community members to educate themselves about health (Hruby et al., 2016). The resulting rise in public health and well-being levels displays the importance of DE.

Obesity epidemiology studies are some of the most recent examples of using DE to ensure successful public health management. Because of the steep rise in mortality levels among people with weight problems, the problem of obesity is currently studied in-depth (Kyle, Neall, & Atherton, 2016). The epidemiology analysis thereof, which also includes a profound study of culture-specific factors, has provided nurses with an opportunity to create a comprehensive program that can be adjusted to meet the needs of diverse communities (Hruby et al., 2016). Therefore, the application of ED principles to handle some of the most recent and the most persistent public health concerns leads to the design of improved PH nursing strategies. Specifically, the issue of patient education is handled very subtly. Because of the pressure that modern society imposes on obese people and people with weight issues, the necessity to create a flexible tool, including the management of patients’ self-image, is required. The proposed approach, in turn, incorporates the management of psychological concerns experienced by overweight and obese patients (Bhupathiraju & Hu, 2016). As a result, nurses can empower target audiences to make an important personal change.

In addition, the example under analysis highlights the effects that DE has on the enhancement of social support. Obese patients usually experience a vast range of negative responses from their community members, ranging from pity to disdain, which leads to the development of mental health issues among the vulnerable population quite often (Khamisa et al., 2015). DE, in turn, creates a chance to build awareness among community members and engage them in supporting obese patients (Hruby et al., 2016). Thus, one can build the environment for improving public health.

Epidemiology Components for Analyzing At-Risk Populations

To ensure a successful epidemiological analysis, one must incorporate essential components into it. According to the existing taxonomy, there are three crucial elements in the epidemiological analysis, i.e., the host, agent, and environment (Kuller, 2016). Known as the epidemiological triangle, the host-agent-environment framework has to be applied to the investigation of any public health issue. The resulting information about the nature of a health threat, the people that are most likely to be affected by it, and possible tools for preventing health issues are of paramount importance. The located data will be used to shape a nursing strategy and design an intervention (Kuller, 2016). Thus, the needs of potential victims of disease will be addressed.

The host-agent-environment triangle is a rather simple structure that allows dissecting some of the most complex health issues. According to the existing nomenclature, a host is a patient that is viewed as a potential target for a disease or a disorder. An agent, in turn, is represented by a particular disease or disorder, whereas an environment can be described as a set of factors in which an agent can thrive and attack a host (Kuller, 2016). When combined, the elements in question can be used to determine the strategies for promoting knowledge and education among patients, teaching them to identify symptoms and threats, and avoiding the factors that may spur the further development of a disease or a disorder (Hruby et al., 2016). A cause-and-effect relationship is determined in the course of an analysis. Thus, a public health concern is managed properly.

The components of a DE constitute a framework that helps epidemiologists safeguard vulnerable populations from multiple risks. In an environment where people are exposed to an increasingly large number of health concerns due to technological, financial, economic, environmental, and sociocultural issues, DE is essential. It reduces major risks, encourages patient education, and helps nurses to manage patients’ needs appropriately. Thus, DE requires further development and research to prevent even greater health threats within the global community.

References

Banderali, G., Martelli, A., Landi, M., Moretti, F., Betti, F., Radaelli, G.,… Verduci, E. (2015). Short and long term health effects of parental tobacco smoking during pregnancy and lactation: A descriptive review. Journal of Translational Medicine, 13(1), 327. Web.

Bhupathiraju, S. N., & Hu, F. B. (2016). Epidemiology of obesity and diabetes and their cardiovascular complications. Circulation Research, 118(11), 1723-1735. Web.

Hruby, A., Manson, J. E., Qi, L., Malik, V. S., Rimm, E. B., Sun, Q.,… Hu, F. B. (2016). Determinants and consequences of obesity. American Journal of Public Health, 106(9), 1656-1662. Web.

Kuller, L. H. (2016). The limitations of opportunistic epidemiology, pseudopod epidemiology. European Journal of Epidemiology, 31(10), 957-966.

Kyle, R. G., Neall, R. A., & Atherton, I. M. (2016). Prevalence of overweight and obesity among nurses in Scotland: A cross-sectional study using the Scottish Health Survey. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 53, 126-133. Web.

Sanders Jr, T. L., Maradit Kremers, H., Bryan, A. J., Ransom, J. E., Smith, J., & Morrey, B. F. (2015). The epidemiology and health care burden of tennis elbow: A population-based study. The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 43(5), 1066-1071. Web.