Epidemiology, Prevention, and Public Policy

As noted by Dr. Ralph Frerichs in the first week of this course, epidemiology involves not only the study of the determinants of health and disease in human populations, but equally as important it contains an “action component,” namely, “the application of the study to the control of disease.” One of the most important manifestations of that “action component” is through screening programs based on sound epidemiologic research. However, while many may endorse the goal of screening programs, the details and execution are often controversial. This week’s Required Readings include articles about screening programs for four different diseases that contain potentially controversial recommendations. To prepare for this Discussion, review the four articles concerned with screening and public policy, listed in the Required Resources. All four articles contain potentially controversial recommendations for screening and prevention. By Day 4, post a comprehensive response to the following: Select one article, and then summarize the recommendations, what makes them controversial and whether you feel they are justified. Describe the epidemiological evidence in support of your position. Identify whether the prevention program you review is population or high-risk based and how that influences your assessment.

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