NSG 604 Module 5 Discussion 1 & 2: General Health and Population Indicators

NSG 604 Module 5 Discussion 1 & 2: General Health and Population Indicators

NSG 604 Module 5 Discussion 1 & 2: General Health and Population Indicators

Module VI


No single measure can capture the health of a nation but measuring and tracking health has fallen within the realm of the epidemiologist. Measures reflect a broad range of factors including:

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environmental and social influences,


health literacy

health system performance.

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These factors, known as health indicators, are often used in combination to provide a snapshot of the health of a specific group.

Health indicators can be used to define public health problems at a particular point in time, to:

indicate change over time in the level of a population or individual,

define differences in the health of populations,

assess the extent to which the objectives of a program, such as a health promotion activity, are being reached.


Upon completion of this module the student will be able to:

Identify common indices used in identifying the health status of populations

Compare and contrast reports used for health indicators

Understand the vital statistics registration system in the United States

Health Indicators

According to the World Health Organization, health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity (Preamble, 1946). How do we know when we have: physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease? We use health indicators to provide that information primarily related to births and deaths.

Health indicators are markers of health status and tools that can be used to measure and monitor information about the health of the population (Merrill, 2021).

Health indicators identify resources and assist in increasing awareness of trends and issues (NIH, 2017). Health indicators are instrumental in assisting policymakers in guiding public health policy.

Indicators enable decision-makers to assess progress towards the achievement of intended outputs, outcomes, goals, and objectives (NIH, 2017). Health indicators use data that are required by law but can be misleading if the sample size is small. They also must be relevant to pressing concerns in today’s health environment. A major concern today is that this country spends much on healthcare, but this level of spending is not consistent with outcomes of quality of life and performance of our healthcare system. Other pressing concerns include chronic disease and premature death from these diseases, violence, obesity, HIV transmission, smoking, diet, physical exercise, and sexual practices. Other indicators include birth and death in relation to life expectancy, years of potential life lost, specific death rates, costs of specific death rates, births to teens, very low or low birth weight babies, mothers who received no or inadequate prenatal care, and parental characteristics.

The World Health Organization (2015) has identified the following as global health indicators:

life expectancy and mortality

cause-specific mortality and morbidity

selected infectious diseases

health service coverage

risk factors

health systems

health expenditure

health inequities

demographic and socioeconomic status

With people living longer and having chronic conditions, disease prevention and disparity reduction have become very important and are measured by morbidity health status.

Epidemiology Morbidity And Mortality – StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf (nih.gov)

National Vital Statistics System (please watch these two short videos)

Health Indicator Reports

There are several ways to monitor and obtain information about health indicators. An indicator profile is a brief outline report that contains numerical and contextual data for a specific health issue on the national, state, local, or international level. These reports show the:




relevant population characteristics,

healthcare system factors,

risk factors,

health status outcomes,

other important needed information.

Health data can be found at the global, national, state, and local levels:

Global health data at the World Health Organization

World Health Statistics 2022: Monitoring Health for the SDGs. World Health Organization 2022. https://www.who.int/data/gho/publications/world-health-statistics.

United States data at the CDC

Healthy People 2030 objectives and data

Individual state data – you can look up your own -this is New Jersey NJ data

You can get local data by typing in your zip code at County Health Rankings

Welcome to week 6


Merrill Chapter 6


Module VI
Discussion 1

After reading the topics and text for this module, provide a one-page position statement on a health indicator of your choice for a specific population. Your health indicator should be a priority issue derived from the health statistics for your own county on the County Health Rankings website. In your post, provide us with the zip code and the top health problem in your county. As you write your position statement, consider…How can you demonstrate the seriousness of this issue? What does the literature suggest as best practices in improving outcomes for this problem? Are there any specific barriers you see based on your knowledge of this county?

Before writing your position statement, review a few from your professional organizations to get an idea of what should be addressed

Module VI: Discussion 1
Discussion 2

Considering your position statement in discussion # 1 – if you had all possible resources (cost and personnel, etc. were not barriers), how would you explain this problem, and possible solutions, to your community? Create a one-page handout that you could use to educate your community about the problem, and what they can do to avoid the problem or poor outcomes from the problem. In your response to your classmates, share with them what you felt was effective and any other suggestions for improvement.

Module VI: Discussion 2
Post your initial response by Wednesday at 11:59 PM EST. Respond to two students by Saturday at 11:59 PM EST. The initial discussion post and discussion responses occur on three different calendar days of each electronic week. All responses should be a minimum of 300 words, scholarly written, APA formatted (with some exceptions due to limitations in the D2L editor), and referenced. A minimum of 2 references are required (other than the course textbook). These are not the complete guidelines for participating in discussions. Please refer to the Grading Rubric for Online Discussion found in the Course Resources module.

Special Guidance on APA formatting in Discussion Posts

APA formatting is required in discussion posts with the following two exceptions (due to limitations with the text editor in LIVE): double line space and indent 1/2 inch from the left margin. Discussion posts will NOT be evaluated on those two formatting requirements. All other APA formatting guidelines should be followed. For example, in-text citations must be formatted with the appropriate information and in the correct sequence (Author, year), reference list entries must include all appropriate information following guidelines for capitalization, italics, and be in the correct sequence. Refer to the APA Publication Manual 7th ed. for each source type’s specific requirements. Please let your instructor know if you have any questions.

Resources module.

Module VI: General Health and Population Indicators

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