Epidemiology can use census data or survey data. Epidemiologists would love to have a complete count of everyone (census), and sometimes we need to go find and interview everyone who is exposed to a certain event. However, when describing large population trends, most often we rely on representative samples of the population to give us an indication of how big of a proportion of people are sick or at risk.
On the job, you will often be asked to provide or retrieve information. A good practice is to confirm the intended purpose and the type of data you are expected to provide before responding. You should also provide confirmation of your sources when you respond to the request.
- This exercise is about what you can or cannot say when you are given certain data. Be careful to consider which aspect of the data you would use to make policy recommendations.
- Each of Centervale’s three townships—Simon Township (ST), Diamond Township (DT), and Taylor Township (TT)—is responsible for traffic safety in the unincorporated areas, including maintenance and installation of roads, sidewalks, bike trails, lighting and traffic signs and lights, and snow removal. As Centervale grows and expands rapidly, with an out-migration of young families and retired couples from Metropolis, more reports of traffic accidents are appearing in the media.
Children (0–14 years)
Adults (15–59 years)
Elderly (over 60 years)
Children (0–14 years)
Adults (15–59 years)
Based on the additional information about Centervale, your readings, and research, respond to the following:
In this module, you have been asked to clarify a news reporter’s summary statement that traffic accidents are increasing. You have been given this rather cryptic chart, and your office keeps some standard data about Centervale. The data that your office keeps is on a spreadsheet that you can download here. The first page of data was probably taken from the most recent Census Bureau report (2010). Another tab (or sheet) of the spreadsheet contains data that was collected by the police department. You can assume that all motor vehicle accidents with injury or death are reported.
- Explain the accident rates in the data table in terms of absolute numbers and in terms of population ratios. Be careful to use age-specific denominators. Has the overall number of accidents in Centervale increased? Can you tell who is responsible for the increase? You may use statistics, charts, or visualizations to show what is known.
When working people are hospitalized or dead, it is considered a burden to the community; the community loses a productive member. Most drivers are what we consider of working age. After puzzling over the chart, you decide that people might understand it better if you explain things in terms of hospitalizations and fatalities. You can say, for example, that 13 percent of hospitalizations of children under 15 years in Simon Township are caused by motor vehicle accidents. The chart also indicates that 40 percent of deaths in Taylor Township are caused by motor vehicle accidents
- In your report, tell if you think this is realistic. Is it possible that the summed data across townships are representative of the county? Can you compare your conclusions to statewide data? What are some probable reasons that the actual data are not yet available at the state level?
- Tell whether you would be critical or cynical about quality of data from the different townships. Is the data you have been given adequate to make an assessment of whether traffic accidents are increasing in number? Explain clearly what the data can be used for. Can you tell if the rate of accidents has been increasing? Explain what additional information is needed.
You should utilize at least 2 scholarly sources beyond the course readings in your research. Your paper should be written in a clear, concise, and organized manner; demonstrate ethical scholarship in accurate representation and attribution of sources; and display accurate spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
Write a 3-page report in Word format. Apply APA standards to citation of sources.