Methodologies for the Collection of Comparative Community Level Public Health Data: Obtaining Powerful and Statistically Meaningful Findings for Small Populations

Recent health emergencies such as the ebola outbreak in 2015 and the current zika virus reflects the pressing need for the rapid and statistically meaningful collection of data, often within small geographic areas. The collection of public health data at the community level is challenging for a number of reasons. Building respondent trust and gaining local support are key, but even when these barriers are overcome the choice of questions and how they are asked is central to the success of a study and to its impact on health improvements and policy change. One of the common problems found in many community level studies is the lack of comparability and the inability to generalize findings beyond the study area. While interesting and useful information is often obtained, translating this information into a framework that facilitates policy impact often proves difficult due to a lack of comparability. The NACDA Program on Aging has been promoting a methodology for overcoming the challenges of generalizability and comparability that has been successfully employed in several small area studies of public health and healthcare unitization. The presentation will describe this methodology and provide examples of its efficacy in real-world research situations. The presentation will provide supporting materials to guide interested users in applying this approach for their own research specializations. This approach is flexible and works across languages and research disciplines so it can be applied in a variety of public health studies, including RAPID AREA ANALYSIS (RAP) situations.

*A complementary presentation was held on the same theme at the Hawaii Conference Series 2017 in Honolulu, USA.

Read presenter biographies on the Speakers page.

Posted by IAFOR