(this a public health topic) Assessment Title: Epidemiological Report. Details of the task: This assessment requires you to identify a relevant epidemiological research question, access and analyse relevant datasets and write a full epidemiological report. The report will include context to the study, clearly stating a research question, providing full details of methods used, appropriate presentation of results and discussion of the relevance of the study. How do I get started? • To get started, you will need to choose a health outcome to focus on. The best place to start to get some ideas is the Public Health Outcomes Framework. – My health outcome is type 2 diabetes. • Choose an outcome that is of interest to you and start to learn about why it is important and how it is measured. Structure of the report The general structure of the report is what you will find in any published epidemiological study and many reports of quantitative health research. The overall structure is the IMRaD structure (Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion). The IMRaD structure has been used to report scientific findings, including epidemiological studies for around 70 years. There is now extensive recommendations from several sources about how epidemiological reports should be structured. One of the most commonly used set of recommendations is The Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) Statement: guidelines for reporting observational studies The recommended structure laid out below is based on the IMRaD structure and conventions and recommendations for reporting epidemiological studies including the STROBE guidance. Title: • Use a short title to clearly indicate what the study is about. The title may be one of the last things that you write because you will need to decide on all the details of your study before you can write the title. • Use keywords to catch the reader’s attention. The title should include information on the study design, the population and the main exposure and outcome measures. • For some inspiration, look at the titles of published studies in these epidemiology journals: International Journal of Epidemiology / American Journal of Epidemiology / Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. Abstract (250 words): • The abstract will be one of the last things that you write because you need to all the details of your study before summarising them. • An abstract is a short, but representative summary of all the main components of the report. Just a few lines are needed for each section of the report. You can use structured subheadings in the IMRaD format for the abstract. • Look at examples from published journal articles as a guide. Introduction/Background (300 words): • Begin by introducing your health outcome. Why is the health outcome important? Use this interactive presentation for ideas. • How many people are affected? What is the current prevalence / incidence of the outcome? Use this interactive presentation for guidance on prevalence and incidence rates. • How does the health outcome fit into current the social, political, economic or health care context? • Is there a supporting theory for the study? What is the theory about an exposure that may be the cause of the outcome. Literature Review (300 words): • What is already known about the causes of the health outcome? What is not known? • Are there previous studies that are comparable? • What study designs and methods have been used previously? critique these study designs. • What have been the strengths and limitations of previous studies. • What are the gaps in knowledge? Research Questions / Hypotheses (150 words): • Based on what you have said in the Introduction / Background and Literature Review sections, what is the specific research question that aim to answer through your study? • This should be one or two very specific research questions that are achievable using the sources of data we have covered on this module. • Clearly state a research question and the related null and alternative hypotheses for this research question. – My research question is: Does the black and Asian culture increase the risk factor of type 2 diabetes in adults within London? (this research question is what you aim to answer.) Methods (500 words): This section should provide a step-by-step guide to how you have accessed and analysed data to answer your research question(s). You can use the following sub-headings: Study design: describe the study design you are using to answer the research question. (the study design that needs to be used for this report is ecological study design). Setting / Population: describe the setting and population e.g. is the study based on a specific population in a local area? Or does it cover the whole of England? Is there a focus on a specific demographic group (e.g. age, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status). Sample: This is relevant if your data comes from sample data rather than population data. If appropriate, describe the sampling approach for the data you are using – you can find this information in ‘metadata;, for example the ‘Definitions’ tab on PHE fingertips will include this information. Data sources / measurement: For each measurement (e.g. exposure and outcome) describe the source of data and details of methods of measurement. The ‘Definitions’ tab on PHE fingertips will include this information. Variables: Clearly define your independent variables (exposures) and dependent variables (outcomes). Describe the type of variable and the role of each variable. The type of variable that must be used for this is a continuous variable. Because we are talking about type 2 diabetes. Data analyses: Clearly describe your approach to analyses. Explain the type of analysis you are using e.g., a measure of association. Explain the analysis used including any relevant statistical tests. See here for data analysis using continuous outcome measures and here for data analysis using binary outcome measures. Results (400 words + table(s) / graph(s) • In this section you should clearly describe the results of your analyses with specific reference to your research questions. • You should include written text, graphs and/or tables as appropriate. A total of no more than four graphs and/or tables is recommended (e.g. two graphs and two tables). • Label all graph and tables appropriately and refer to them in the written text. Graphs and tables should be created by you or exported after being generated in an appropriate source such as PHE fingertips. Do not copy and paste tables / graphs from other reports. Descriptive statistics: Describe the characteristics of study participants (e.g., demographic, social characteristics) and information on exposures and potential confounders. Outcome data: Report data on the prevalence or incidence of your outcome measure. If appropriate, use this video for ideas about describing outcome data by person, place, and time. Main results: Present the results of your analyses clearly in appropriate graphs and tables. This part should show the data that answers your research question. Provide a written interpretation of all the data you have presented. This should include description of any measures of association in terms of direction, strength and significance and interpretation of which hypothesis is supported by the data. For guidance, see interactive presentations on data analysis using continuous outcome measures and data analysis using binary outcome measures. Discussion (400 words): • In this section you should interpret your results and establish what they mean in the context of previous findings in the literature. • A discussion should include: a) statement of main findings. b) strengths and limitations of the study and strengths and limitations in relation to other studies. c) similarities and differences in findings from other studies. d) relevance of the study findings and implications for policy makers and others; unanswered research questions and future research priorities. Conclusion (200 words): • Clearly state the answer to your original research question based on what you discovered through your study. • Include a statement of the relevance of this information in the context of previous research.
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