Measures of Occurrence and Data Sources Assignment

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Epidemiologists spend much of their time analyzing data and evaluating the validity of the sources of their data. In this Application Assignment you will be presented with a scenario where you are asked to interpret the meaning of the data. You’ll also determine the probable source and validity of the data.

To prepare: For this Application Assignment:

  • Select one health condition that interests you. For a list of conditions, visit
  • Review the following scenario.

    Suppose you are working in a state health department monitoring trends in the occurrence of various reportable conditions. As you compare this year’s trends with last year’s, you notice an increase in the occurrence of the condition that you chose.

With the scenario in mind, complete a 2- to 3-page paper that states the chosen condition and responds to the following questions.

  • What considerations are important to explore to determine if the increase in reported numbers represents a true increase in the incidence of the condition? For considerations, this means anything that could affect a true increase in the rates, possibly causing it to appear that there is an increase, and possibly an epidemic, but in fact, that might not be the case. Examples include: screenings, testing, change in diagnosis criteria, policies, laws, campaigns, etc. Describe at least two considerations.
  • What descriptive epidemiologic factors (time/place/person) might you consider in order to assess the differences in occurrence?
  • What descriptive epidemiologic factors (time/place/person) might you consider in order to assess the differences in occurrence over time? How would these factors contribute to your understanding of the increase in the occurrence of the condition?

Be sure to support your work with specific citations from additional scholarly sources as appropriate. Refer to the Pocket Guide to APA Style to ensure that your in-text citations and reference list are correct.

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