This subject covers the essential knowledge that clinicians, project officers, health service managers and health service planners need concerning epidemiology and population health. It enables students to apply analytical strategies of epidemiology to the health service environment, and to assess, interpret and critically appraise the quality
of evidence of health service studies. Topics covered include the social determinants of disease, the health of the Australian population, epidemiological methods and concepts, understanding epidemiological evidence and its limitations, using population health data, and how findings are used to support health services planning and management decisions. Students also have an opportunity to calculate and interpret measures of disease frequency, association and impact. An emphasis is placed on linking epidemiological theory population health with application in health services settings and decision-making.
Assessment task 3: Critical appraisal
Intent: This assessment item focusses on critical appraisal of population health data.
Objective(s): This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):
C and E
C. Recommend rigorous and appropriate approaches to the collection, storage, interpretation and utilisation of epidemiological and other population health data;
E. Create a variety of ways in which complex epidemiological and population health data and/or issues can be effectively communicated for a variety of target audiences;
This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):
1.0, 1.1 and 1.2
– Reflective, critical thinker who influences practice, policy and research to achieve clinical excellence and transform healthcare services. (1.0)
-Critique, interpret and synthesise data and research findings to develop safe, effective and evidence-based solutions to healthcare challenges. (1.1)
-Propose relevant problem solving and human factors theories to the analysis of common issues inherent in the management and evaluation of healthcare services . (1.2)
Task: You will be allocated to a local health district and provided with the population health data for that health district. You should review the population health data for your allocated local health district.
You should look at available data from both the State Health Department and from the Medicare
Local and the AIHW.
Imagine you are asked to brief a State health minister about the health of the population in your area and prepare a 10 minute presentation covering the following issues:
What is the population profile of your area (age and other social determinants of health)?
What services are available to meet the needs of the population (look beyond hospitals to Primary Health Care and other providers)?
What proportion of the population has risk factors for cardiovascular disease?
What are the most common communicable diseases in your area?
Has there been an outbreak of a communicable disease in your area in the last five years and if so,what was the disease and how was it managed?
Based on the population profile, what additional services will be needed in 10 years time?
In your opinion, what are the two most important health issues affecting your area. You will need to justify your answer using epidemiological data.
You should upload a copy of your powerpoint presentation, with speaker notes,
Criteria: 25% Summarises the available health data for the LHD using several sources and contextualises the LHD within the Australian health system.
30% Analyses the main issues, considerations and possible recommendations regarding the health
profile of the LHD.
25% Determines and justifies considerations that a senior health official / Health Minister would need to make in relation to the LHD including resource allocation.
20% Constructs coherent and cohesive information, including clarity of thought, focused presentation, depth of content, logical organisation and precision of arguments.
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