Epidemiology past,present and future
Discussion 1: Epidemiologists—Past, Present, and Future The classical role of epidemiologists began in the mid-18th century with the industrial transformation in Great Britain (Szreter, 2003). William Farr and John Snow, two contemporary epidemiologists, contributed to the development of modern day “vital statistics” and “surveillance” systems—essential tools for contemporary public health research (Szreter, 2003). During this time epidemiologists were mostly concerned about causes and prevention of infectious diseases. Today, epidemiologists have largely shifted their focus to the study of chronic diseases and are likely to utilize modern technology and information systems to understand complex diseases. The roles of epidemiologists are constantly evolving. While the precise roles of epidemiologists in the future has yet to be determined, it will certainly be impacted by scientific advances, factors shaping human health, technical advances in health informatics, and cutting-edge methods. For this Discussion, review this week’s Learning Resources and other outside resources. Consider the evolving roles of epidemiologists. Think about the roles of epidemiologists. Consider what advances may influence the roles of epidemiologists in the future. A brief explanation of the role of technology and information systems in epidemiology today. Then provide two specific examples of how the role of an epidemiologist and the use of technology have evolved since the time of John Snow. Explain the future role that epidemiologists may serve in your community and explain one or two factors that might most influence the role of epidemiologists in the next 5–10 years. Provide your rationale. Discussion 2 Epidemiological Theory: Social Determinants of Health A host of factors affect your health status at the individual or community level. Whether you are healthy or not is primarily determined by your biology, genetic predispositions, and behavior. To a large extent, your social and physical conditions along with existing medical care and health policy have considerable impact on your health and ultimately disease risk or occurrence. The social and physical conditions are the social determinants—the places you are born, grow up, live, learn, play, and work and your age— that affect a wide range of health and health outcomes including quality of life. Understanding and addressing multiple aspects of social determinants are essential for the development of epidemiological theories. These theories encourage epidemiologists to think critically and systematically about integral connections between social determinants and disease occurrence. From these theories epidemiologists also gain insight, responsibility, and accountability to translate the vision of a healthier society to a reality. For this Discussion, review the week’s Learning Resources and consider different theories of social determinant of health and their impact on epidemiology. Then select a peer-reviewed article from the Walden Library that focuses on a specific theory of social determinants of health. With these thoughts in mind: Post by Day 4 a brief explanation of the theory the article used and how the theory was applied to the field of epidemiology. Explain how you might integrate the theory into your dissertation research and the importance of framing your research within a theory or model. Provide a rationale using scholarly resources. RESOURCES • Krieger, N. (2011). Epidemiology and the people’s health: Theory and context. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. o Chapter 1, “Does Epidemiologic Theory Exist? On science, Data, and Explaining Disease Distribution” (pp. 3–41) o Chapter 3, “Epidemiology Emerges: Early Theories and Debating Determinants of Disease Distribution—Poison, Filth, Class, & Race (1600–1900)” (pp. 58–94) o Chapter 6, “Social Epidemiologic Alternatives: Sociopolitical and Psychosocial Frameworks” (pp. 163–201) o Chapter 7, “Ecosocial Theory of Disease Distribution: Embodying Societal & Ecological Context” (pp. 202–235) • Bhopal, R., Macfarlane, G. J., Smith, W. C., & West, R. (2011). What is the future of epidemiology? The Lancet, 378(9790), 464–465. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases. • Pearce, N. (1996). Traditional epidemiology, modern epidemiology, and public health. American Journal of Public Health, 86(5), 678–683. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases. • Shapiro, J. S., Mostashari, F., Hripcsak, G., Soulakis, N., & Kuperman, G. (2011). Using health information exchange to improve public health. American Journal of Public Health, 101(4), 616–623. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases. • Ness, R. B., Andrews, E. B., Gaudino, J. A., Newman, A. B., Soskolne, C. L., Stürmer, T., … Weiss, S. H. (2009). The future of epidemiology. Academic Medicine, 84(11), 1631–1637.