Subject Code and Title: PUBH6005: Epidemiology
Assessment: Assessment 4: Discussion Forum
Length: 1,000 words (+/- 10%)
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.
Total Marks: 100 marks
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 a 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 context.
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?
Submission Instructions: Submit your Discussion Post via the link in the Assessment 4 Discussion Forum. A rubric will be attached to the Assessment Brief. The Learning Facilitator will provide feedback via the Grade Centre in Blackboard. Feedback can be viewed in My Grades.
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