Read “Evidence-Based Public Health – A Fundamental Concept for Public Health Practice” by Brownson, et al., 2009, located in the Reading & Study folder for this module/week. Discuss the following points in your initial thread. Review the discussion board instructions before posting your initial thread.
- What is evidence-based public health (EBPH), and why does it matter?
- Compare and contrast the analytical tools of EBPH (systematic reviews, public health surveillance, economic evaluation, health impact assessment, and participatory approaches).
- In what ways do systematic reviews provide better evidence on which to base intervention decisions than personal experience? Why should qualitative data from community members be considered in the mix of evidence when planning a community-based intervention
- How does Christianity blend historical reviews and personal experience as credentials of its authenticity?
Discussion Board Instructions
You will participate in 8 Discussion Board Forums by 1) posting a thread in response to the stated prompt, and 2) posting replies in response to classmates’ threads. Each Discussion Board Forum topic presents a thought-provoking question or prompt based on recent article(s) in the scientific and professional literature of public health. Each prompt is designed to enhance your learning experience as you write about your ideas, perspectives and experiences, and receive feedback from your classmates. Both the frequency of your participation and the depth of the content you write will affect your grade. Use the Discussion Board Grading Rubric to improve the quality of your contributions and follow the specific requirements described below.
Note: Threads and replies must be completed within the assigned module/week or no credit will be awarded.
For each forum, post a thread in response to the topic prompts provided. Your post should contain 400–500 words and adhere to AMA writing style guidelines. This word limit promotes writing that is thorough yet concise enough to permit your peers to read all the posts. If the Discussion Board Forum prompts you to answer a series of questions, make sure you address all of them thoroughly within the word limit. Do not restate the questions in your post; simply begin a new paragraph for each new thought. The goal is to have a seamless written argument closed by a brief conclusion tying together your individual responses. Use your best critical reasoning skills, employing the Universal Intellectual Standards as a guide, but not a strict outline. Refer to specific statements of the author(s) whenever appropriate but limit direct quotations to a maximum of 25 words for your entire post. Since this is a personal discussion, you may use first person; however, you should maintain professional decorum at all times.
Your thread should be posted to the appropriate Discussion Board Forum by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Thursday of the assigned module/week.
After reading your classmates’ threads, post a reply to at least 2 classmates by clicking “Reply” within the thread to which you intend to respond. These replies are designed to stimulate thought-provoking discussion, building upon or expanding the knowledge presented. Your instructor is looking for substantive, reasoned comments, not mere agreement with the initial thread on which your reply is based. In your replies, state why you liked or disliked a comment, adding additional thoughts or ideas to your classmate’s, and/or providing alternative ideas or disagreeing thoughts. Your comments should be critical but kind, “speaking the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15). Help one another with good communication skills, both by example and instruction. Substantiate your position by referencing pertinent statements from the resource under discussion, but avoid lengthy quotes from it. You may also reference other professional or peer-reviewed sources, though this is not a requirement. Each reply should contain 200–250 words and adhere to AMA writing style guidelines.
Replies to your classmates’ threads are due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Sunday of the assigned module/week, except for Module/Week 8 when replies will be due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Friday.
Replies in first person:
Evidence-based public health (EBPH) is defined as the “process of integrating science-based interventions with community preferences to improve the health of populations”.1,2 With EBPH, there is “access to more and higher-quality information on what works, a higher likelihood of successful programs and policies being implemented, greater workforce productivity, and more efficient use of public and private resources”1
The analytic tools of EBPH are used to enhance the adoption of evidence-based decision making. Public health surveillance collects and analyze data, disseminates data to public health programs, and evaluate the effectiveness of the use of the disseminated data.1,3 Conducting systematic reviews allows for one to become familiar with research and practice on many specific topics in public health which can provide a wealth of valuable information for decision making in public health. Economic evaluation provides information that helps to assess the relative appropriateness of expenditures on public health programs and policies.3 “However, relevant data to support this type of analysis are not always available, especially for possible public policies designed to improve health”.1 Health impact assessments (HIA) attempts to predict the positive and negative impacts of an intervention such as a policy, program, or project. The overall aim of the HIA is to influence decision making to minimize the harm and maximize the health benefits of an intervention.4 With the participatory approach, stakeholders, particularly those involved in program operations, those served or affected by the program, and primary users of the evaluation, such as practitioners, academicians, and community members collaborate to defines issues of concern, develop strategies for intervention, and evaluate the outcomes.1
Systematic reviews limits bias and random errors thereby providing more reliable results upon which to make intervention decisions where as personal experiences gives room for subjective bias which could lead to poor decision making. Systematic reviews can also reduce waste of resources and time by identifying consensus in research and avoiding unnecessary interventions.5 Qualitative data from community members should be considered when planning a community-based intervention because the data provides information on the direct needs or health concerns of the community, how the issues can be addressed, and the possible barriers and facilitators to addressing the issues in that community. It could also be used to provide information to explain quantitative findings.1
The Bible is a guide for our relationship with God and other humans. It also guides us on how to go about our daily life, things we should and should not do. However, each person interprets and follows the Bible in their own way usually based on personal experiences, or traditions. In relation to EBPH, despite the available evidence from research, people still make public health decisions based on personal experiences.
- Brownson RC, Fielding JE, Maylahn JM. Evidence-Based Public Health: A Fundamental Concept for Public Health Practice. Annu. Rev. Public Health. 2009;30:175–201. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.publhealth.031308.100134 Accessed September 30, 2019.
- Kohatsu ND, Robinson JG, Torner JC. Evidence-based public health: an evolving concept. Am J Prev Med. 2004;27(5):417–421. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2004.07.019 Accessed September 30, 2019.
- Brownson RC, Gurney JG, Land GH. Evidence-Based Decision Making in Public Health. J Public Health Manag Pract. 1999;5(5):86–97. Accessed September 30, 2019.
- Joffe M, Mindell J. Health impact assessment. Occup Environ Med. 2005;62(12):907–835. doi:10.1136/oem.2004.014969. Accessed September 30, 2019.
- O’Hagan EC, Matalon S, Riesenberg LA. Systematic reviews of the literature: a better way of addressing basic science controversies. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2018;314(3):L439–L442. doi:10.1152/ajplung.00544.2017. Accessed September 30, 2019.
Discussion Board 7
Evidence-based public health (EBPH) combines the fields of public health and research. As the article states, “key factors of EBPH include making decisions on the basis of the best available scientific evidence, using data and information systems systematically, applying program-planning frameworks, engaging the community in decision making, conducting sound evaluation, and disseminating what is learned1.” This may seem like a tall order, but it basically means applying more science and research methods in order to create sounder evidence and better methods to apply to behavior change.
Systematic reviews are a great way to get an overview of a topic and tend to limit biases1. Public health surveillance simply researches a population in order to get an idea of what the population needs in the realm of behavior or policy changes. Economic evaluations are a large portion of the analytical tools of EBPH (we can be honest here – money rules the field!) Health impact assessments are slightly different in the sense that it investigates the outcomes of health changes on other fields such as agriculture, transportation, et cetera1. Participatory approaches involve the community1. Each of these approaches focus on different aspects of health and policy, however, they have the overarching goal of working in the interest of the population’s overall health.
Personal experience is just that – limited to one person. Systematic reviews have the added benefit limiting biases and providing more reliable results1. Imagine that you are asking people on their opinions of a restaurant. One person may despise it. A systematic review may find that the restaurant is excellent in the aspects of food safety, waste management, and cleanliness. That being said – qualitative data from the community is important since they live in the area of study and can provide a more personal dataset.
Christianity is a very personal subject, but it also has the historical evidence to back it up. We all know the evidence written in the Bible of personal testimonies, and we all know that real evidence such as pieces of what was perhaps Noah’s Ark and the cross have been found. As far as the personal aspect, we all have something that has made us believe and/or solidified our faiths. Perhaps it was a verse in Sunday school, a picture of a statue crying blood, a rainbow when you needed it, or even a miracle you experienced firsthand. This is how EBPM ties into religion – it can be personal and evidence based.
- Brownson RC, Fielding JE, and Maylahn CM. Evidence-based public health: a fundamental concept for public health practice. Annu. Rev. Public Health. 2009;30:175-201. URL. Published January 14, 2009. Accessed September 30, 2019.