Epidemiology Paper

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Epidemiology Paper
Nur/408
October, 15th. 2012

Epidemiology Paper
Mental Health Disease
The world health organization (WHO) defines mental health as, “not just the absence of mental disorder but as a state of wellbeing in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” ( Perry, Presley-Cantrell, and Dhingra 2010). Mental illness, “refers collectively to all diagnosable mental disorders that are characterized by alteration in thinking, mood or behavior(or some combination thereof) associated with distress and/or impaired functioning( Perry, Presley-Cantrell, and Dhingra 2010). Mental health has become an increase concern within the vulnerable population, especially the elderly population across the nation. The two most dominant mental diseases that affect the elderly are Alzheimer and Dementia which causes the decline of intellectual functioning. Although scientists do not fully understand the development of these diseases, they do know that both of these diseases have similar signs and symptoms (Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation, 2011). To have a better understanding of the disease process, it is important to understand what epidemiology is. This paper will discuss the definition and description of epidemiology, the steps and methods of epidemiology that can help determine the cause and effect of a disease. The paper will discuss how the epidemiology triangle is used, the selected population and diseases of interest, and lastly, describe the relationship of the disease to various levels of prevention.

Epidemiology
According to Stanhope and Lancaster (2008). “Epidemiology is a multidisciplinary enterprise that recognizes the complex interrelationships of factors that influence disease and health at both the individual level and the community level, it provides the basic tools for the study of health and diseases in the communities.”(p. 272). Epidemiology is important because it provides the necessary tools to help the communities as well as the individuals identify disease or diseases, and provide information about health concerns. Using a multidisciplinary approach provides the team with information gained through investigation, monitoring, and surveillance. A multidisciplinary approach also helps the team look at every detail and avoid missing valuable information. After the information is collected and studied, the team come together and identifies the disease. Thereafter the focus will be on whom the disease affects, what the causes are, and how to control or prevent the disease from spreading further (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2008). Methods of Epidemiology

The first step in learning about any diseases in epidemiology is the collection of data. The following data sources are reviewed to help with the investigation of the mental health disease. 1: Routine data consist of learning the demographic of a selected area and collecting the census information in addition to how many births and deaths have occurred during a certain period. Surveillance data also has important information to help determine the disease process and effect (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2008). 2: Research Data received through medical health records has important information that can help with the investigation. The information gathers here is relatively available and is less time consuming (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2008). 3: Epidemiological survey is conducted for certain population and demographic area. The epidemiological survey of Alzheimer disease will include the collection of data from medical records, private practices, nursing facilities, and hospitals that will include the medical diagnoses, age of the population, and any other pertinent information. A medical questionnaire is also a good source of information, because it has important information about the...
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