By Day 3
Post a cohesive response that addresses the following:
Identify the association between the risk factor and health outcome you selected, and suggest which observational study design you feel is most appropriate for examining that association.
Support your selection of the observational design, noting its strengths and limitations for addressing the health problem.
What might you be able to learn by using your selected study design that might lead to improvements in population health? Support your response with evidence from the literature.
Week 3 Discussion: Observational Study Designs
The observational study design is a type of study where certain outcomes are measured or individuals are on observation. The design does not make any attempt to affect the outcome implying that the researcher does not give any treatment. The observational design includes cross-sectional, prospective cohort, retrospective, case-control, ecological designs, and case-crossover (Nimptsch & Mansky, 2017). The design entails taking a keen look at a phenomenon for some time and deducing the results based on the observed results. Therefore, the purpose of this discussion is to apply the observational study design in examining prevalence of Tuberculosis among African Americans.
Evaluation of the Health Problem
The increase in cases of Tuberculosis (TB) among African Americans has been leading to intense research on the causes of this menace. The data collected in 2020 by the state, local and territorial agencies reported 7,174 TB cases to the CDC (Royce et al., 2017). Out of this population, 1409 of the patients were African American and non-Hispanic black that accounted for 20% of all patients reported with TB in the US. The increase in the number of people dying from TB in the US signifies the reduced concern on the better treatment measures that could aids in thwarting the health problem among the selected population. This statistic further illustrates that one African Americans are 8 times at risk of TB compared to not Hispanic white people, in the US. Globally, more than 2 million people suffer from TB each year (Schwartz et al., 2020). This data implies that the prevalence of TB among African Americans in the US is high calling for an effective study that would solve the health problem among this population.
Selection of Appropriate Observational Study Design
The most appropriate observational design fit for studying the prevalence rate of TB among African Americans is a cohort study. The study is designed to define a set of people observed within some period. The modern epidemiological definition of the study as a group with defined characteristics followed up to examine the incidence of the cause of death, some specific disease, or the mortality rate (Nimptsch & Mansky, 2017). A well-designed cohort study can result in a reliable and powerful outcome. In this study, an outcome or an event of interest is first determined and followed over time until the outcome results are confirmed. In most cases, the exposure tends to come before the outcome which compels cohort studies to develop and temporal framework used in assessing causality. This process gives cohort studies the ability to provide the strongest scientific evidence.
Strengths of Cohort Study
The cohort studies are advantageous in an examination of rare exposures to TB because the subject in the study is selected by their status of exposure. Besides, the researcher can examine numerous outcomes simultaneously (Nimptsch & Mansky, 2017). Cohort design also aids the researcher in calculating rates of disease in the exposed and unexposed subjected overtime such as incidence and risks.
Limitations of Cohort Study
The main limitation of this study is the need for a large sample size and an extended follow-up timeline that would increase the cost of undertaking the study. Cohort studies always face financial constraints because of the large samples that researchers have to observe for a long period of time (Campbell et al., 2019). Secondly, the study can be highly susceptible to selection bias that might affect the overall outcome of the study.
Cohort design is key for a complete discussion of the TB among African American population. Therefore, the concept of cohort study which is a type observation study design can be applied in examining the TB among blacks or African Americans in the US. The study aims at developing a comprehensive analysis of the trend that TB has been taking in the selected population and designing the positive measures that could solve the selected health care problem.
Campbell, A., Grace, F., Ritchie, L., Beaumont, A., & Sculthorpe, N. (2019). Long-term aerobic exercise improves vascular function into old age: a systematic review, meta-analysis and meta regression of observational and interventional studies. Frontiers in physiology, 10, 31. https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/bmjopen/7/9/e016184.full.pdf
Royce, R. A., Colson, P. W., Woodsong, C., Swinson-Evans, T., Walton, W., Maiuri, A., … & Tuberculosis Epidemiologic Studies Consortium. (2017). Tuberculosis knowledge, awareness, and stigma among African-Americans in three southeastern counties in the USA: a qualitative study of community perspectives. Journal of racial and ethnic health disparities, 4(1), 47-58. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40615-015-0200-1
Nimptsch, U., & Mansky, T. (2017). Hospital volume and mortality for 25 types of inpatient treatment in German hospitals: observational study using complete national data from 2009 to 2014. BMJ open, 7(9), e016184. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2019.00031
Schwartz, N. G., Price, S. F., Pratt, R. H., & Langer, A. J. (2020). Tuberculosis—United States, 2019. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 69(11), 286. https://dx.doi.org/10.15585%2Fmmwr.mm6911a3