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NURS 8310 Week 6: Epidemiological Applications and Data Interpretation

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NURS 8310/ NURS 8310F/ NURS 8310M/ NURS 8310A/ NURS 8310C Week 6: Epidemiological Applications, Part 2 and Data Interpretation essay assignment

NURS 8310/ NURS 8310F/ NURS 8310M/ NURS 8310A/ NURS 8310C: Epidemiology and Population Health | Week 6 essay assignment

Can a person’s experience with racial discrimination impact aging and his or her physical health? The answer may be yes, according to a preliminary epidemiologic research study sponsored by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Institute of Health (Szanton et al., 2011; NIH, 2011). The NIA looks at factors such as race and socioeconomic status in relation to health disparities and outcomes. The Szanton et al. study identified a sample population of African Americans living in the Baltimore area who reported experiencing racial discrimination in their lifetime. This sample population showed higher levels of red blood cell oxidative stress, a potential risk factor in cardiovascular and other age-related diseases. Although this study presents only preliminary findings, it is interesting to consider the role that stress and other psychosocial factors play in the overall health of individuals and populations.

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This week, you will examine psychosocial factors that influence health and disease. By understanding the role of these factors in health, along with environmental and genetic factors, you will have additional tools to improve health outcomes for individuals and populations.

Finally, in order to develop evidence-based interventions, DNP-prepared nurses need to be able to critically appraise the research literature, including the conclusions drawn from the data analysis. To practice this skill, you will appraise two articles and consider potential sources of confounding and bias.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Evaluate the influence of psychosocial factors in health and disease
  • Critically appraise epidemiologic literature
  • Analyze the potential influence of confounding variables in a research study
  • Analyze potential sources of bias in epidemiologic research

Although the United States spends more money per capita on health care delivery, statistics indicate it is not a particularly healthy country. Over 50% of all preventable deaths in the United States are a result of unhealthy lifestyle behaviors (AACN, 2006). As epidemiologists explore essential questions such as how stressful life events and behavioral choices may influence an individual’s health, society wrestles with the distinction of what is actually within the control of an individual, and therefore relates to a personal responsibility for promoting well being, versus how larger-scale efforts can modulate psychosocial risk factors that result in population health problems.

In this Discussion, you will consider the connection between psychosocial risk factors and health outcomes. As you review the research literature, consider how you have come across this issue in your professional practice. As a nurse leader, what opportunities do you have to apply the information presented this week to promote improvements in population health status?

To prepare:

  • Review the Learning Resources, focusing on the influence of psychosocial factors on health and disease.
  • Locate at least two examples from the research literature of how these factors influence health. If necessary, conduct additional research using the Walden Library and credible websites.
  • Examine strategies currently being employed to address these factors, including health promotion and disease prevention efforts.
  • Ask yourself: How are these strategies designed to improve population health status?

By Day 3

Post a cohesive scholarly response that addresses the following:

  • Provide a brief summary of each example, including the influence of psychosocial factors on health and disease as discussed in the research literature. Cite your sources.
  • What strategies are currently being used to address these factors? Support your response with examples from the literature.
  • Knowing that there are psychosocial factors that influence acute and chronic diseases, what is the role of the nurse in probing for that information or in larger initiatives?

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

By Day 5

Respond to at least one of your colleagues in one or more of the following ways:

  • Ask a probing question, substantiated with additional background information, evidence, or research.
  • Share an insight from having read your colleagues’ postings, synthesizing the information to provide new perspectives.
  • Offer and support an alternative perspective using readings from the classroom or from your own research in the Walden Library.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience and additional research.
  • Make a suggestion based on additional evidence drawn from readings or after synthesizing multiple postings.
  • Expand on your colleagues’ postings by providing additional insights or contrasting perspectives based on readings and evidence.

Discussion 2: Appraising the Literature essay assignment

For the DNP-prepared nurse, it is important to hone skills related to reviewing and evaluating research literature to implement evidence-based practices. As you examine epidemiological research, in particular, it is essential to ask, “What are the strengths and weakness of the research method(s)? Are the data analysis and interpretation sound? Is there any evidence of bias?” This Discussion provides you and your colleagues valuable practice in critically analyzing research literature.

To prepare:

  • With this week’s Learning Resources in mind, reflect on the importance of analyzing epidemiological research studies.
  • Critically appraise the Oppenheimer (2010) and Elliott, Smith, Penny, Smith and Chambers (1999) articles presented in the Learning Resources using Appendix A in Epidemiology for Public Health Practice as a guide.
  • Determine the strengths and weaknesses of the research methods and data analysis of each study.
  • Ask yourself, “Is any bias evident in either study? What did the researchers do to control for potential bias?”
  • Finally, consider the importance of data interpretation in epidemiologic literature and the issues that may arise if potential confounding factors are not considered.

NURS 8310 Week 6: Epidemiological Applications and Data Interpretation

By Day 5

Post a cohesive scholarly response that addresses the following:

  • Appraise the Oppenheimer (2010) and Elliott et al. (1999) articles, summarizing the strengths and weaknesses of each study.
  • Analyze potential sources of bias in each study, and suggest strategies for minimizing bias.
  • Suggest possible confounding variables that may have influenced the results of each study.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

By Day 7

Respond to at least one of your colleagues in one or more of the following ways:

  • Ask a probing question, substantiated with additional background information, evidence, or research.
  • Share an insight from having read your colleagues’ postings, synthesizing the information to provide new perspectives.
  • Offer and support an alternative perspective using readings from the classroom or from your own research in the Walden Library.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience and additional research.
  • Make a suggestion based on additional evidence drawn from readings or after synthesizing multiple postings.
  • Expand on your colleagues’ postings by providing additional insights or contrasting perspectives based on readings and evidence.

 

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