Briefly summarize the population health problem you selected for Major Assessment 7, and state the study question you want to answer.
Explain which epidemiologic study design is most appropriate for your study, as well as the assumptions and tenets that support its application.
Analyze the strengths and the limitations of the potential data sources you might use for your study.
Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.
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Week 4 Discussion 2: Epidemiologic Designs
The population health problem selected in Major Assessment 7 is the prescription drug overdose, commonly called the opioid crisis. Clinically referred to as the Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) the opioid problem is a critical population health issue affecting millions of individuals across the United States. Initially, the opioids were meant to help patients with chronic and terminal conditions to relieve pain (Liang & Shi, 2019). However, these drugs have an addictive effect that has led to their abuse by other people who find them having similar benefits like the hard abused substances like heroin and cocaine.
The study question is “What is the efficacy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Prevention of State” program in lowering the prevalence of prescription drug overdose?”
Knowing the risk factors associated with the high prevalence of OUD in the population needs a comprehensive analysis. Therefore, the most appropriate epidemiological design is cohort study design. The tenet of this design is that it makes follow ups of research subjects that have similar features over time (Friis & Sellers, 2021). Based on this approach, researchers can understand the risk factors that lead to an increase or a decline in the prevalence of health problems like the opioid epidemic. The third tenet of the cohort study design is that it establishes cause and effect perspectives in research (Alexander et al., 2018). The other assumption that supports cohort approach is that it entails large samples and enables researchers to identify potential risk factors that contribute to disease over time.
Potential sources of data in cohort studies include observations from the participants, and use of past records comprising of similar research findings (Barrett & Noble, 2019). The advantages of these source include ability to interact with participants and get first-hand information, takes time to include large representative samples for varied outcomes. However, the sources of data require time and resources to gather comprehensive information.
Alexander, L., Lopes, B., Ricchetti-Masterson, K., & Yeatts, K. B. (2018). Randomized
controlled trials. ERIC Notebook Periodical Second Edition No. 10. Retrieved from https://nciph.sph.unc.edu/tws/HEP_ERIC10/certificate.php
Barrett, D., & Noble, H. (2019). What are cohort studies? Evidence-Based Nursing, 22, 95-96.
Friis, R. H., & Sellers, T. A. (2021). Epidemiology for public health practice (6th ed.). Jones &
Bartlett. Chapter 8, “Experimental Study Designs”
Liang, D., & Shi, Y. (2019). Prescription drug monitoring programs and drug overdose deaths
involving benzodiazepines and prescription opioids. Drug and alcohol review, 38(5), 494-502. DOI: 10.1111/dar.12959.
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