PUBH6005 Discussion Forum On Epidemiology Assessment 4 Answer

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Question :

Subject Code and TitlePUBH6005: Epidemiology
AssessmentAssessment 4: Discussion Forum
Length1,000 words (+/- 10%)
Learning Outcomes
This assessment addresses the following learning outcomes:
  • Apply common epidemiological concepts including incidence and prevalence of disease, mortality and survival and age standardization
  • Recognise the role of exposure to biological, behavioural, social and environmental risks in disease patterns
  • Differentiate between different types of research designs, including observation and experimental and mixed methods designs
  • Assess levels of evidence and make recommendations
  • Interpret data arising from surveillance and research studies, including rates and ratios
  • Understand the difference between association and causation, statistical and public health significance
  • Analyse the role of epidemiology in screening and prevention programs, and assess the sensitivity and specificity of programs
  • Critically evaluate epidemiological studies, including potential for bias, confounding and chance errors
  • Identify key health indicators and sources of data


This assessment is aimed at developing student’s ability to reflect on their learning and discuss content and share ideas in a professional online environment. The assessment will develop cognitive and critical thinking skills essential for a career in public health.

By prescribing this assessment, students will develop their academic writing, researching and referencing skills as well as their ability to effectively summarise information. This assessment allows students to broaden their own understanding of each topic through engaging in academic discourse, while developing their skills to engage in formal discussions with their peers.


Part A: covering modules 1 to 3 (due before week 6) Part B: covering modules 4 to 6 (due before week 12)

Step 1: In the Assessment 4 Discussion Forum, post a comment in regard to ONE discussion topic related to modules 1 to 6 (Refer to module discussion topics on page 3 of this assessment brief)

Step 2: Post on at least one other discussion forum post. It is important to note that posting once does not constitute a discussion, and students are to return to the discussion forum to further engage with other students' posts.

Interact in the Discussion Forum by commenting, debating, and adding to the Discussion Forum posts of your fellow students. It is expected that you will add at least one post to one of your fellow student’s posts. Academic debate and discussion must always be conducted with care and respect. Points to consider:

This discussion relates to content delivered in Modules 1 to 6

Students must demonstrate accurate referencing technique according to APA 6th edition. Suggested word count: 1000 words (+/- 10%)

To complete this task, students are encouraged to:

  • complete the weekly learning content.
  • seek out further research materials on this topic from authoritative text books, peer reviewed journals, and academic online sources.
  • do a spelling and grammar check and proof read your work to ensure ideas are clear and flow logically. Great ideas can get lost in sentences that are difficult to understand.

Referencing requirements:

When making links to relevant additional materials, it is important that the correct APA referencing style is being used. This is an area where students can show that they have been using

wide range of resources.

Module Discussion Topics:

Module 1: Discussion Topic 1: Incidence and Prevalence

Imagine that you are providing advice to a State Minister for Health on a new policy to mitigate childhood obesity. Would you use incidence or prevalence data to support your policy and why?

Now imagine that you are providing advice on how Australia should manage an outbreak of Coronavirus. Would you present him/her with incidence or prevalence data to support your policy and why?

Discussion Topic 2: Measuring Population Risk

What do we mean by relative risk as opposed to population attributable risk?

‘Efforts have been made to standardize methods of measurement of risk factors at the global level, including the WHO MONICA Project in the 1980s and 1990s. More recently, the WHO STEPS approach to the measurement of population levels of risk factors provides methods and materials to encourage countries to collect data in a standardized manner’ (Bonita, Beaglehole & Kjellström 2006).

What are some of the things that need to be taken into consideration in collecting global health statistics related to disease risk?

Module 2: Discussion Topic 1: Observational Study Design

What study designs could be used to explore the relationships between work-related factors and mental health? Different designs might be more useful for exploring different relationships. Please suggest a proposed observational study design for a study which considers the relationship between work overload and mental health. Why did you choose this study design?

Discussion Topic 2: Randomised Controlled Trials

When would the use of a randomised controlled trial be inappropriate? Give a public health example and outline the reasons for your conclusion why randomised control trial would not be appropriate in this contex

Module 3: Discussion Topic 1:Controlled Trials

Use the TUA library to find an article describing a randomised control trial in an area of public health that you find interesting, and summarise it briefly. What are the benefits and limitations of using an RCT in this specific context (and I'm interested in your opinions, not just the statements from the researchers!)? Could any other study designs have been used to explore the same research question?

Discussion Topic 2: Controlled Trials

When would the use of a randomised controlled trial be inappropriate? Give a public health example and outline the reasons why conclusion randomised control trial would not be appropriate in this context.

Discussion (Module 4): Discussion Topic 1

Search the literature for an observational study for critical appraisal. Choose an appropriate critical appraisal tool to appraised your selected paper. Discuss the reason of your choice on critical appraisal and the details of your appraised paper.

Discussion Topic 2

Search the literature for an experimental study for critical appraisal. Choose an appropriate critical appraisal tool to appraised your selected paper. Discuss the reason of your choice on critical appraisal and the details of your appraised paper.

Module 5: Discussion Topic 1: Comparing Screening and Surveillance

Apart from prostate cancer, are there any other conditions for which the benefits of screening may not outweigh the risks? If you have been involved with any screening or surveillance initiatives, you are encouraged to share your experiences and perspectives.

Discussion Topic 2: Comparing Screening and Surveillance

Considering the methods by which surveillance data are collected, what elements of the social context or community in which you live create barriers to or facilitate effective disease surveillance? Feel free to draw from your personal and professional experiences

time television?

Module 6: Discussion Topic 1: Systematic Review

How does a systematic review differ from the critical appraisal task set for assessment 3? How is it similar?

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Answer :


Step 1: Comparing Screening and Surveillance (Module 1, Discussion Topic 1) 

Hello Everyone, 

We all want to stay healthy. It is the choice of the lifestyle that would determine how one feels now and thwart health problems in later life. Thus, consulting doctors regularly is crucial for adopting preventing healthcare measures. Preventing healthcare service involves periodic examinations that would detect any diseases within the body. Screening is one of the procedures of the early detection of health problems before the arrival of any symptoms. Thus, the benefit of screening cannot be doubted as it can prevent life-threatening disease to progress. However, like the benefits screening also have certain drawbacks as in some cases, it may fail to identify any condition (Pace & Keating, 2014). Screening should be done following strict guidelines so that it overcomes any sort of risks associated with it. It has been evident that the medical tests for screening are often not suitable to carry out the final diagnosis. A screening test is normally done for identifying any sort of abnormalities, and then there is another test which is organised for better analysis of the issue.  

Rather than prostate cancer, the screening test is done for the bowel cancer in which the stool of the individual is tested to identify any trace of blood and sign of bowel cancer. In case the test result is abnormal, the bowel is tested closely with an endoscope (Quintero et al. 2012). This would help to evaluate if the blood in the bowel is the result of cancer or is caused by some non-cancerous condition. Nonetheless, failure to follow the guidelines of a bowel screening test can increase the risk of the physical harm that can result in colonoscopy. It can result in haemorrhage, perforation and even death. Moreover, the mental conditions of the individuals are affected due to the false-positive effects. However, all the above risk factors can be avoided by following proper guidelines of the screening tests.

Often screening test is considered to be preventive measures, but they are early detection process in case any individual undergo the chances of developing a disease.  This can be explained with the endoscopy of the bowel, which helps to assess as well as remove intestinal polyps which can develop into cancer in later life (Hoffmann & Del Mar 2015). The exposure of the body part to the x-rays can be harmful and enhance the risk of physical harm. Thus, it is often suggested by the researchers that the screening test should be performed for diseases that have fatal consequences. Screening test increases the survival rate of the cancer patients, and thus, this test is considered to be highly effective.   

The general physician plays an important role in carrying out a screening test of an individual. The general physician should consider the significant reasons for carrying out the screening of the patients. Moreover, he or she should be responsible for making the patients aware of the significant risk associated with the same. It is crucial for the researchers to carry out randomised control trials to balance the harmful effects of screening.

Step 2: Posting comment on a systematic review (Module 6, Discussion topic 1)

Hi Everyone, 

Every day, tons of articles are published about the health-related discoveries, but there are very fewer articles that show the actual discoveries. Different health-related articles show a brief overview of various tools, such as systematic review and critical appraisal (Haddaway et al. 2015). There are different tools, such as systematic review and critical appraisal, that help summarise and analyse different available data or studies regarding the research question. A systematic review is associated with identifying the appropriate answer to the health problem-related questions (Salmasian et al. 2015). Therefore, for determining the answer of health-based problems, it is highly essential in implementing the systematic review to present or collect evidence so that it can be used in the process of treatments (Munn et al. 2015). On the other hand, the primary function of the critical review is making the critical assessment of the research ideas that are proposed in a study by comparing it with the investigation that has already been conducted (Salmasian et al. 2015). The main idea of the critical appraisal is presenting the perspectives that are previously known along with the fact that it can be further understood through the observation. 

The main differences among the critical appraisal and systematic review lie in the field of applicability. A systematic review is applicable in those contexts where lots of previous works have been done, which have developed lots of data as a consequence (Salmasian et al. 2015). On the other hand, the critical review is applied in that study field where a detailed discussion is made upon a specific research topic for generating accurate as well as precise conclusions regarding the research related problems.

Other differences among these tools are in the process. The processes that are generally implemented to carry out a systematic review starts typically from the specific research-related question around which the data has been collected (Haddaway et al. 2015). On the other hand, critical appraisal is generally started by focusing on the main ideas. After that, empirical works that mainly focuses on the central idea are identified (Salmasian et al. 2015). After that, the relevancies of these collected works are assessed. A systematic review is associated with covering various broader topics like primary healthcare, child obesity etcetera.

On the other hand, critical appraisal is associated with providing focus on the importance of the infrastructure of the hospital in the primary healthcare or the role of diet in child obesity. Systematic review I associated with arranging in the chronological order based on the publication date. On the other hand, the critical appraisal is associated with being arranged in the descending orders based on the publication date.

The main similarity among the systematic review and critical appraisal is both the tools are associated with the system as well as carefully analyse particular health-related issues so that it can help resolve the health-related problems.