Discuss epidemiology as the scientific basis for clinical medicine and guideline development. Explain some types of data, performance measurements, and possible reasons for variations in data. Next, share a bit of information or statistics you learn from reviewing the National Center for Health Statistics site.
Epidemiology is the detailed study of determinants and distribution of health-related states and events in a particular population. Hence, epidemiology is the primary source of information for clinical practitioners. They learn, among other things, what causes specific health scenarios, the factors that lead to or prevent them, and how the health phenomenon varies in different medical and cultural settings (Hernandez & Kim, 2021). Therefore, epidemiology is the gateway to knowledge for clinicians. Consequently, clinicians develop medicines, interventions, and general guidelines based on the information they get from epidemiological investigations.
The type of data that one can gather from epidemiology varies according to the health event. For instance, if the disease is relatively new, such as COVID-19 in 2020, clinicians will collect data on the causative agent, the means of transmission, and the agent’s impact on the human body. Conversely, if the disease is well established, the critical epidemiological data would entail exploring social and environmental contributors in a specific location, relative prevalence, complications, and comorbidities (Fontaine, 2018). Clinicians also evaluate several performance measures. These are indicators that assess the efficacy, efficiency, and quality of clinical interventions and guidelines. For instance, they determine how myths and misconceptions of a disease or medication affect the overall health status in a community. They can also measure socioeconomic disparities and how they affect access and consumption of medical services. The data that clinicians gather could vary because of varying cultural backgrounds, time, and sociopolitical dynamics.
The National Center for Health Statistics surveys nutritional health. For instance, one of the studies showed that 10.8% of American children below eighteen years live in households experiencing food insecurity within a month (Ullmann et al., 2022). Food insecurity is more common among Black and Hispanic children than White children. Such data could be pivotal to clinicians promoting nutritional health in communities where the two ethnicities are prevalent.
Fontaine, R. E. (2018, Dec. 13). Describing Epidemiologic Data. https://www.cdc.gov/eis/field-epi-manual/chapters/Describing-Epi-Data.html
Hernandez, J. B. R., & Kim, P. Y. (2021). Epidemiology Morbidity And Mortality. In StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK547668/
Ullmann, H., Weeks, J. D., & Madans, J. H. (2022). Children Living in Households That Experienced Food Insecurity: United States, 2019–2020. NCHS Data Brief, 432. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db432.htm