Last Updated on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 by ProsCons
Introduction to Epidemiology : Epidemiology is the study of a particular pre-defined population for various diseases & health conditions. It is the basic necessity for proper public health & welfare. Here, concerned people also define it as the study of reoccurrence of various diseases in different age groups & why. In this case, Epidemiology helps in proper planning & policy shaping along with identification of various risk factors for effective healthcare. In summary, the Epidemiological studies can be classified into two types as listed hereafter.
- Observational Study
- Interventional Study
We can classify Observational studies into two types. They are: – Descriptive & Analytical Epidemiological studies. For instance, Descriptive Epidemiology deals with the determination of the pattern of disease occurrence. As a result, it focuses mainly on the person, time, place & clinical information. Similarly it also depends on various cultural & demographic information’s which may result in disease formation.
Likewise, Analytical Epidemiology deals with the testing & validation of the various conclusions & hypothesis derived from Descriptive Epidemiology. Here we can further classify it into three types as shown below.
- Cohort Study
- Cross Sectional Study
- Ecological Study
As an example, Cross sectional studies in Epidemiology measures the causes & effects of diseases found among one or more exposed population group. Hence the exposure data simultaneously ascertain with the disease information. Some of the advantages of Cross Sectional Studies are:
- Its economical & less time consuming
- Multiple uses of acquired data
- Captures a certain period of time frame
As we have the general idea about Epidemiology, some of its pros & cons are listed hereafter.
Pros or Benefits of Epidemiology
- Epidemiology helps in benchmarking the intensity of crisis & also monitors its evolution over time. As a result, this enables in the direct estimation of the relative risk with study of more than one risk factor.
- Epidemiology encourages the formulation of effective trial along with increase in strength of conclusions. Hence, this can help in the generalization of the obtained results for a larger population group.
- Epidemiology can also improve the accuracy of the estimates through the use of multiple data sets. Thus, this drastically increases the statistical ability to detect unwanted effects.
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Cons or Disadvantage of Epidemiology
- The most apparent disadvantage of Epidemiology is its huge requirements of various resources like manpower, funds & time. Furthermore proper follow up procedures also require a long period of time.
- Epidemiology is dependent on valid data & information. Hence, it is also affected by the rapid changes in health & nutritional status of the emergency affected populations. As a result, the conclusions & recommendations drawn can be useless as they can be out of date in such areas.
- Due to negligence with the data gathered through Epidemiology, many important decisions are not made as per the data & evidence provided which may result in irrational decisions & policies.
Epidemiology is an important subject for the proper understanding of the health priorities in any place. It helps in identifying the needy population groups, severe diseases, disabilities, calamities etc. & provides proper assistance to the needy. Furthermore Epidemiology is an important component for various relief operations. Lastly it can also provide light to the suffering experienced by the affected population making it a critical area of study.