NURS 8310 Week 2 Discussion Descriptive Epidemiology

NURS 8310 Week 2 Discussion Descriptive Epidemiology

By Day 3
Post a cohesive response that addresses the following:

Evaluate your selected health problem in the population you identified by describing three to five characteristics related to person, place, and time.
Appraise the data sources you utilized by outlining the strengths and limitations of each.
Discuss two methods you could use to collect raw data to determine the descriptive epidemiology of your health problem, Determine how these methods would influence the completeness of case identification as well as the case definition/diagnostic criteria used.
Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

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Week 2 Discussion: Descriptive Epidemiology

Descriptive epidemiology offers useful information which can be instrumental in disease prevention, intervention designs and carrying out further research. Central to the epidemiology study are person, place, and time, implying the individuals affected by a particular condition, the place where that particular incidence happened, and the time it happened (Beghi et al., 2020). These three concepts are in the efforts of analyzing any existing patterns to come up with a possible solution. Therefore, the purpose of this discussion is to apply these epidemiologic concepts to Tuberculosis among African Americans.

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Evaluation of the Health Problem

Tuberculosis is one of the conditions that affect populations disproportionately, possible due to various health disparities. According to the CDC (2020), the condition is eight times more prevalent among African Americans or non-Hispanic black as compared to non-Hispanic whites. The characteristics related to a person include race, sex, age, socio-economic status, and biological characteristics such as immune status. Age is considered since health-related events vary with age. For TB and other diseases, age groups are considered to detect data patterns connected to age. For sex, in some cases, females have higher incidences of illnesses than males and vice-versa. As earlier indicated, race dictates the rates of TB, and the condition is more prevalent among individuals from this population.

The characteristics of time include if the frequency of the condition has changed over the decades. Indeed the frequency of TB among African Americans changed from 7 cases to 3 cases per 100000 persons in the last decade (Marks et al., 2019). Another time characteristic is if the disease frequency varies seasonally; however, diabetes does not vary seasonally. The third characteristic is whether the condition changes over the course of days, such as in the case of outbreaks. The relevant characteristic of the place includes whether the problem occurs in a specific geographical location, a location relevant to the occurrence of the condition such as place of report or diagnosis. The other characteristic is a place category such as non-institutional or institutional, foreign or domestic, and rural or urban.

Data Source Appraisal

Various data sources were used to obtain data on tuberculosis. One of the sources was the center for disease control run National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). This data source has various advantages and disadvantages. Among the advantages is that there is an ongoing collection of data and availability. It also offers prevalence and incidence information on various health conditions (Blumberg, 2020). This source also has a nationwide sample and presents data for the risk factors connected to the condition. However, this source has disadvantages such as a delay of up to five years when it comes to data availability, the possibility of huge sampling errors when doing estimation for small populations. The other source was the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS) and Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)  One advantage is that there is ongoing data availability and collection. However, it suffers from possible incomplete reporting and only represents the number of events.

Data Collection

Some of the methods I would use to collect raw data include the use of a survey; this survey would prompt the participants to state whether they have had cases of TB in their family. While this data collection can be effective, it may suffer from incompleteness as some would refrain from telling the truth and lie about the condition (Yap et al., 2018). The implication is that it will also influence case definition as fewer cases would be reported. I would also explore data from patient records to find the trends. This method would make the data more complete as the electronic health record data is usually accurate. Therefore it will also boost case definition.


Descriptive epidemiology is key for a complete discussion of the nature of a condition among the populations. Therefore, the concepts of descriptive epidemiology have been applied in the case of tuberculosis among African Americans. Various aspects such as the characteristics connected to people, place, and time have all been explored.


Beghi, E., Giussani, G., & Poloni, M. (2020). Descriptive epidemiology and related neurobiology. Oxford Textbook of Neurologic and Neuropsychiatric Epidemiology, 331.

Blumberg, S. (2020). An Overview of the Redesigned National Health Interview Survey. In APHA’s 2020 VIRTUAL Annual Meeting and Expo (Oct. 24-28). American Public Health Association.

CDC. (2020). TB and Black or African American Persons.

Marks, S. M., Katz, D. J., Davidow, A. L., Pagaoa, M. A., Teeter, L. D., & Graviss, E. A. (2019). The impact of HIV infection on TB disparities among US-born Black and White tuberculosis patients in the United States. Journal of public health management and practice: JPHMP.

Yap, P., Tan, K. H. X., Lim, W. Y., Barkham, T., Tan, L. W. L., Mark, I., … & Chee, C. B. E. (2018). Prevalence of and risk factors associated with latent tuberculosis in Singapore: a cross-sectional survey. International Journal of Infectious Diseases72, 55-62.