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.
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.
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.
Friis, R. H., & Sellers, T. A. (2014). Epidemiology for public health practice (5th ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett.
Chapter 10, “Data Interpretation Issues”
Chapter 15, “Social, Behavioral, and Psychosocial Epidemiology”
Appendix A – Guide to the Critical Appraisal of an Epidemiologic/Public Health Research ArticleIn Chapter 10, the authors describe issues related to data interpretation and address the main types of research errors that need to be considered when conducting epidemiologic research, as well as when analyzing published results. It also presents techniques for reducing bias. Chapter 15 features psychosocial, behavioral, and social epidemiology. Appendix A includes criteria to consider when reading an empirical journal article.
Elliott, A. M., Smith, B. H., Penny, K., Smith, W. C., & Chambers, W. A. (1999). The epidemiology of chronic pain in the community. The Lancet, 354(9186), 1248–1252.
Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases
This article describes an early epidemiologic study on chronic pain. Carefully review this article noting the structure of the research design, assessment and data collection, and analysis strategies. You will refer to this article for Discussion 2.
Oppenheimer, G. M. (2010). Framingham Heart Study: The first 20 years. Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, 53(1), 55–61.
Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases
The Framingham Heart Study is a landmark epidemiologic study that began in the 1940s. The author of this article reviews the history of the Framingham Heart Study and its contribution to population health. As you read this article, consider any sources of bias or potential conflict of interest. You will refer to this article for Discussion 2.
Phillips, C. V., & Goodman, K. J. (2004). The missed lessons of Sir Austin Bradford Hill. Epidemiologic Perspectives & Innovations, 1(3). Retrieved from http://www.biomedcentral.com/1742-5573/1/3
In 1965, Austin Bradford Hill worked on a paper that has become a standard in public health and epidemiologic study about how to make decisions based on epidemiologic evidence. Hill put forth strategies for inferring causation and stressed the need for considering costs and benefits when planning health-promoting interventions. Review this article, which examines how Hill’s strategies are often misused or misinterpreted.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011). CDC health disparities and inequalities report—United States, 2011. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Supplement, (60), 1–114. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/other/su6001.pdf. [Read pages 11–32]
This report consolidates national data on disparities in mortality, morbidity, behavioral risk factors, health care access, preventive health services, and social determinants of critical health problems in the United States by using selected indicators. The required section of reading introduces the social determinants of health and environmental hazards.
World Health Organization. (2011). Social determinants of health. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/social_determinants/en/
According to the World Health Organization, “The social determinants of health are mostly responsible for health inequities—the unfair and avoidable differences in health status seen within and between countries.” This article presents an introduction to social determinants of health.
World Health Organization. (2011). Social determinants of health: Key concepts. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/social_determinants/thecommission/finalreport/key_concepts/en/index.html
This article outlines key concepts related to the social determinants of health.
Healthy People 2020. (2011). Social determinants of health. Retrieved from http://healthypeople.gov/2020/topicsobjectives2020/overview.aspx?topicid=39
This website presents an overview of the social determinants of health and addresses how the information relates to Healthy People 2020.
UCL Institute of Health Equity. (2018). ‘Fair society healthy lives’ (The Marmot Review). Retrieved from http://www.instituteofhealthequity.org/resources-reports/fair-society-healthy-lives-the-marmot-review
Genaidy, A. M., Lemasters, G. K., Lockey, J., Succop, P., Deddens, J., Sobeih, & Dunning, K. (2007). An epidemiological appraisal instrumental – a tool for evaluation of epidemiological studies. Ergonomics, 50(6), 920–960.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011). Social determinants of health. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/socialdeterminants/
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