Descriptive Epidemiology Report Assignment
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Descriptive Epidemiology Report Assignment
Create a descriptive epidemiology report that provides information on the frequency and
distribution of a health-related state or event in a specific population. Use data available through
an online data source/portal. Examples of online data portals are provided at the end of this
Your report should include the incidence rates and/or prevalence proportions*:
1) In the population overall for the most recent year available
2) By three person, place and/or time variables
a. By race/ethnicity, age, and urban/rural in most recent year available;
b. By year (have at least three time points total), and by state and by gender in most
recent year available.
*Note: Depending on the health-related state or event you choose, incidence and/or prevalence may not be
available. For example, if you are interested in a health behavior, such as physical activity or smoking,
incidence rates are not tracked.
• Text should double spaced, with a size 12pt font (Times New Roman)
• Maximum of four pages, not including figures, tables, or references
• Use at least four credible references (including data source). References should be cited intext
(using numbers) and listed on a reference page, using AMA style (see
• Upload an electronic version by 11:00 am AND hand in a paper copy at the start of class on
the due date.
Your report should include the following sections and content (use the bolded words as section
headings in your document):
o If a disease or condition, provide information on symptoms, diagnosis, and natural history
(i.e. natural progression if untreated), with citations.
o If a health behavior, provide information on why this behavior is important (such as what
diseases or conditions is this behavior a risk factor, and what public health
recommendations and/or goals (e.g. Healthy People 2020) are in place, with citations.
o A purpose statement that includes the name of the health-related state or event, the overall
population covered, the person, place and time variables explored, and the data set used.
(This should be the last sentence of the background section.)
Example: The purpose of this report is to describe the prevalence of obesity in Texas
children aged 5-17 from 2000-2010, and differences by race/ethnicity and gender,
using data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey.
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o Describe the data source – include the full name, what organization/institution collects the
data, how often data are collected, how the data are collected (e.g. telephone or in-person
interviews), with citation.
o Provide the operationalized definition or case definition of your health-related state or
event (e.g. what diagnostic criteria were used, what specific questions were asked and how
were they scored), with citation.
o Describe the prevalence and/or incidence patterns of the disease or condition in the
population overall for the most recent year, and by at least three other variables (person,
place and/or time). Do not list every data point; select a subset that you think best tell the
story of the data.
Example: If you choose race/ethnicity as a person variable, select a subset such as 1)
African American, Hispanic, & White; 2) Asian/Pacific Islander, Native American, &
Multi-Racial. Do not list data for every race/ethnicity.
o Compare the levels of each person, place, and/or time variable to each other, and to the
Example: Give the overall rate of depression for adults 20 years and older in the U.S.
Then, state the rates by gender. Describe what the rates look like in males and then in
females. Using confidence intervals, explain whether they are significantly different
from one another, and how they are different (e.g. which is greater or less). Also, state
how they are different from the overall population rate.
o Summarize key points from each section in 1-2 paragraphs.
Tables(s) and Figure(s) (Only one of each is required, but you may choose to include more. Start
on a new page)
o Table(s) should include all data obtained for the report including confidence intervals (if
o Figure(s) should include data that illustrate differences by at least one of your selected
variables (person, place, or time).
o Tables and Figures: Include titles that contain information on the type of measure
(incidence or prevalence), the name of the health-related state or event, the population,
and the time frame; titles for x- and y-axis; footnotes with data source and definition.
*Note: Model your tables/figures after what you did in Learning Activity 3*
Bibliography (AMA style) (Be sure to also include citation numbers in the text!)
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Grading Rubric (100 pts total)
o If a disease or condition, provided information on symptoms, diagnosis,
and natural history, with citations.
o If a health behavior, provided information on why this behavior is
important, with citations.
o Provided a purpose statement that includes the name of the health-related
state or event, the overall population covered, the person, place and time
variables explored, and the data set used.
o Described the data source – including the full name, what
organization/institution collects the data, how often it is collected, how the
data are collected
o Provided the operationalized definition or case definition
Results – Text
o Described the prevalence and/or incidence patterns of the disease or
condition in the population overall and by three person place and/or time
Results – Table and Figure
o All data obtained for the report including confidence intervals (if
applicable) were provided in table form.
o A figure was included that illustrated differences by person, place or time.
o Table and Figure include titles that contain information on the type of
measure (incidence or prevalence), the name of the health-related state or
event, the population, and the time frame; titles for x- and y-axis; footnotes
with data source and definition.
o Included at least one piece of information from each section (background,
methods, and results).
10 Overall paper clarity, grammar, spelling, within page limit, at least four credible
references cited using AMA style in-text and in bibliography.
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Online data portals (many others exist; check with your TA for ideas):
U.S. Cancer Incidence http://wonder.cdc.gov/cancer-v2015.HTML
U.S. Cancer Mortality http://wonder.cdc.gov/cancermort-v2015.HTML
U.S. HIV, STDs, TB http://gis.cdc.gov/grasp/nchhstpatlas/main.html?value=AQT
http://wonder.cdc.gov/AIDSPublic.html (click on “data request”)
http://wonder.cdc.gov/std.html (click on “data request”)
http://wonder.cdc.gov/TB-v2016.html (click on “data request”)
Behavioral Risk Factor
Surveillance Survey (BRFSS)
Youth Risk Behavior
Fatal injury http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/fatal.html
Nonfatal injury http://webappa.cdc.gov/sasweb/ncipc/nfirates2001.html
Maternal and child health http://www.cdc.gov/prams/pramstat/index.html
Examples of descriptive reports:
[Please note: These examples are substantially more complex, particularly the
conclusion/comments section, than is required for this assignment. Your assignment should be a
scaled-down version of these reports, so read them to get a feel for the content and language of a
descriptive epi report.]
Vital Signs: Alcohol-Exposed Pregnancies — United States, 2011–2013
Vital Signs: Exposure to Electronic Cigarette Advertising Among Middle School and High School
Students — United States, 2014
Vital Signs: Cervical Cancer Incidence, Mortality, and Screening — United States, 2007–2012