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Different measures of disease are useful to evaluate and assess public health programs and needs in different situations. For each of the following situations indicate (1) which measure (from the list below) would best be used, and (2) explain why you chose that measure.

Situations

A. To demonstrate that railroad crossings need to be safer to prevent car-train crashes
B. To demonstrate that a primary prevention program is successful
C. To demonstrate that a new leukemia treatment is successful
D. To estimate the healthcare facilities needed to support Alzheimer's patients
E. To argue that AIDS is a public health problem
F. The argue that heart disease should get more funding than AIDS
G. To demonstrate that a new screening program for breast cancer is effective

Measures of Disease

I=incidence rate
P=prevalence rate
C=case fatality rate
M=mortality rate (crude death rate)
A=absolute number of cases (counts)

  • science -

    ..."would be best be used"...

    So, what is best? What is the purpose of the argument? Sometimes an honest analysis would chose one measure as the best, but an advocate wanting funding for something might choose another as best for his purpose. There is an adage, statistics lie. Here in this exercise you get to decide if you are going to use stats to lie, or are you going to use them to do some analysis. Once you decide that, you are on the way to deciding which is best.

    We will be happy to critique your thinking.

  • science -

    I apologize for not providing my answers.

    Different measures of disease are useful to evaluate and assess public health programs and needs in different situations. For each of the following situations indicate (1) which measure (from the list below) would best be used, and (2) explain why you chose that measure.

    Situations

    A. To demonstrate that railroad crossings need to be safer to prevent car-train crashes - Incidence
    B. To demonstrate that a primary prevention program is successful - Prevalence
    C. To demonstrate that a new leukemia treatment is successful - case fatality
    D. To estimate the healthcare facilities needed to support Alzheimer's patients - Absolute number of cases
    E. To argue that AIDS is a public health problem - Prevalence or Mortality
    F. The argue that heart disease should get more funding than AIDS - Prevalence
    G. To demonstrate that a new screening program for breast cancer is effective
    - Incidence or Mortality
    Measures of Disease

    I=incidence rate
    P=prevalence rate
    C=case fatality rate
    M=mortality rate (crude death rate)
    A=absolute number of cases (counts)

  • science -

    e. Prevalence
    d. number of cases
    g. effective is usually measured by lifespan between detection and death. If something can increase that, it is an effective treatment. Screening programs are often just measured by how much more effective they are in "detecting" cancer than other screening programs. This measure increases ïncidence", as more cancers are detected. I suppose I would argue in this case, of the choices, case fatility rate is approprate ...after all, the long term idea is to find and treat cancer and cure it. But in practice, that is a lofty goal, so chosing lifespan between detection and death is a more practical measure of effectiveness, but that is not one of the choices.
    f. Prevalence is the best choice. But cost effectiveness is important here, and I would choose a measure related to deaths prevented per thousand dollars spent, or such. Example: if it costs 1 million dollars per saved life in heart cases, but only ten dollars per aids patient, the amount of money spent per disease would change drastically.
    The others look ok to me, but frankly, my systems analysis background doesn't like the question, it annoyed me, as cost effectiveness is not considered. In reality, life is choices bases on benefit analysis, not just examining the extent and severity of diseases.
    The cost-benefit analysis of the new immunization available to reduce the incidence of cervical cancer is a most appropriate example, and should have been used in this question. It merits more analysis than a multiple choice based on single words.
    This entire field, cost benefit analysis of public health programs is very challenging, and most important to the world. I hope your instructor encourages you to dig deeper.

    Good luck.

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