The Magic of Cinematography: Becoming a Film Major

Assignment 2 Descriptive Epidemiology Paper

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Write a descriptive epidemiology report that provides information on the frequency and
distribution of a health-related state or event in a specific population. Please use data
available from an online data source, examples can be found at the end of this
document. The report should reflect content found in Chapters 1-4 of the textbook. In
this paper, you should provide the following:
General Information to Include:
 What is the disease or condition?
 Is it a communicable or non-communicable disease?
 What are risk factors?
 How is the disease developed or transmitted?
Answer the basic questions of descriptive epidemiology:
Your report should include the incidence and/or prevalence rates*:
1. In the population overall for the most recent year available
2. By at least three person, place, and/or time variables
a. Examples:
i. By race/ethnicity, age, urban/rural in most recent year available
ii. By year (minimum of three time points), state, and gender in most
recent year available

NOTE: Depending on the health-related state/event chosen, incidence and/or
prevalence may not be available. For example, if you are interested in a health
behavior such as smoking or physical activity, incidence rates are not available.
Paper Format
 Please write in a formal narrative format
o Do not use bullet points or numerical lists
 Text should be double spaced, size 12pt font (Times New Roman)
 Page Limit: 5-7 pages, not including figures, tables, or references
 Use at least 7 credible references (including data source)

Your report should include the following sections and content, please use the bolded
words as section headings in your document to keep an easy flow to your report:
 A purpose statement
o Include:
 Name of the health state or event
 Overall population covered (i.e., your population and geographic
area of choice)
 Person, place, and time variables explored
 Data set used
o Example:
 The purpose of this report is to describe the prevalence of coronary
artery disease among adults over the age of 35 in New York from
2005-2015, and differences by race/ethnicity and gender, using
data from the PLACES: Local Data for Better Health data set.
 If a disease or condition: provide information on symptoms, diagnosis, and
natural history (i.e., natural progression if untreated)
 If a health behavior: provide information on why this behavior is important (i.e.,
what diseases/conditions is this behavior a risk factor, what are the public health
recommendations or goals in place – Healthy People 2030)

 Describe the data source
o Full name of the data set/repository
o Organization/institution that collected the data
o Frequency of data collection (yearly, monthly, etc.)
o Mode of data collection (phone, in-person interviews, mailings, etc.)
o Include citation
 Provide the case definition of your chosen health state or event
o What diagnostic criteria were used?
o What specific questions were asked?
o How were the questions scored?
o Include citation

 Describe the disease distribution by place (using proportions and rates)
o Where is the disease/condition most commonly is found?
o Do prevalence and incidence rates vary by location?

o Why is it of such high concern in your chosen location?
 Describe the prevalence and/or incidence patterns of the disease or condition
during the most recent year data is available in the population overall
o Include descriptions of at least three other variables (person, place, time)
o DO NOT list every data point, instead select a subset that you think best
describes the disease or condition
 For example, if you select race/ethnicity as a descriptor of the
person variable, select a subset such as African America, Hispanic,
and White (remember, include multiple subsets, just not all subsets)
 Compare the data of each person, place, or time variable to each other and to
the overall population
o Provide the overall rate in a population (such as depression for adults over
20 years old in the United States)
o Provide the rates by your chosen subsets (such as rates of depression for
men and women over 20 years old separately)
o Compare and contrast the rates and provide a potential explanation of
their differences
 Are there different disease outcomes in different populations

o State how the subset rates differ from the overall population rate
 Describe the distribution by time using proportions and rates
o Does the disease vary seasonally, such as influenza? If so, what season
is it most active?
o Have the populations affected changed over time? (i.e., was the
prevalence of the disease/condition higher among younger adults 20
years ago and now older adults? Why did this change occur?)
o How have merging medical technologies (e.g., screenings, treatments,
vaccinations) affected the prevalence, morbidity, or morality of the

 Include at least one piece of information from each of the sections (Background,
Methods, Results)
 What are some considerations for next steps in the reduction of burden?

Tables and Figures
 Use a page break to separate out tables and figures from the rest of the
 Include references to the specific tables or figures in-text

o Example: The prevalence of COVID-19 in the US in 2020 was higher
among African American compared to White or Hispanic populations, as
seen in Figure 1.

 Each table and figure should have a title
o Include type of measure, disease/condition, population, and time period
o Example: Figure 1 – Prevalence of COVID-19 in the US in 2020 by race
 Each table and figure should be labeled
o Tables should have a header row
o Figures should have axis labels
 While other tables and figures are allowed (with proper citation), an original figure
developed by you is required
 Original Figure:
o Should include data that illustrate differences by at least one of your
selected variables (person, place, time)
o Examples provided below

 Use at least 7 credible references (including data source)
 One consistent reference style is required
o APA format is recommended but not required
 References should be cited in-text
o APA format lists authors and year
o AMA format uses numerical citations