In this module, you will complete a full assessment of your community. (You may build upon this assessment in Community Health II by planning, implementing, and evaluating a project within your community designed to address primary prevention of an identified health concern.)
Your community should be a specifically designated geographic location and can be on any population such as pediatric, adolescence, young adults, adult, elderly, or a combination.
Define the Community by completing a Community Assessment
Be sure to provide details for the 9 questions (below) in your essay and complete a thorough assessment of the community using ALL of the bold headings below in RED in your paper.
Demographics of the Community – Part 1 of the Rubric – worth 20%
IMPORTANT PART: Connects community context and demographics with the Healthy People 2020 objectives and identifies health concerns – Healthy People 2020 website is below.
QUESTIONS – Incorporate these into your INTRO and DEMOGRAPHICS paragraphs as you write the assessment. These questions are NOT addressed in a separate paragraph.
One must delineate the following dimensions before starting the process of community assessment:
- Describe the population that is being assessed? (demographics)
- What is/are the race(s) of this population within the community? (demographics)
- Are there boundaries of this group? If so, what are they? (demographics)
- Does this community exist within a certain city or county? (demographics)
- Are there general characteristics that separate this group from others? (demographics)
- Education levels, birth/death rates, age of deaths, insured/uninsured? (demographics)
- Where is this group located geographically…? Urban/rural? (demographics)
- Why is a community assessment being performed? What purpose will it serve? (intro paragraph)
- How will information for the community assessment be collected? (intro paragraph)
Data Gathering (collecting information that already exists)
- The following resources provide a broad overview of the demographics of a city, county, or state:
- Data Census – Find population, housing, and economic and geographic data for your city based on U.S. Census data: data.census.gov
- State and County Quick Facts—Easy access to facts about people, business, and geography, based on U.S. Census data: http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/
- Obtain information about a specific city or county on these useful websites: www.epodunk.com and www.city-data.com
Information from Government Agencies – Part 2 of the Rubric – worth 30%
Be sure to CITE at least 3 government websites in the essay (ends in.gov)_EXAMPLES BELOW
- Healthy People 2020 or 2030 REQUIRED—this resource is published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It identifies health improvement goals and objectives for the country to be reached by the year 2020: http://www.healthypeople.gov/ Be sure to connect community context and demographics with Healthy People 2020 objectives and identify health concerns in your population – THIS is part of the RUBRIC.
- National Center for Health Statistics—this agency is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; this website provides statistical information about the health of Americans: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss.htm
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—The CDC website contains a large amount of information related to the health of the American population. The search engine within this website can be used to find relevant information: http://www.cdc.gov
- Federal agencies with statistical programs: http://www.fedstats.gov/agencies
- Every state in the United States has its own specific health improvement plan and goals that are based on the Healthy People 2020 document. This information may be available on the state health department website.
- State and local health departments provide information related to vital statistics for the community.
- Other Data Sources – America’s Health Rankings—this website provides information about various health indicators for each state: http://www.americashealthrankings.org/reports/annual
After data are collected from various sources, it is important to review the information and to identify assets and areas for improvement in the community by comparing local data (if available) versus state and national data. This will facilitate the organization of the information that has already been obtained and will provide direction for the next step of the process.
Data Generation: data that does not already exist – this is the data YOU collect!!!!!
You do NOT do ALL FIVE of the headings below. MUST DO 3/5. Due to COVID-19 and social distancing, be creative. Former students during this pandemic have interviewed coworkers and family via phone, created online surveys, and put them on Facebook or use Skype or FaceTime to conduct informant interviews or ask questions from their surveys.
- Windshield Surveys
With the use of public transportation or by driving a vehicle around the community, one can observe common characteristics of the community.
Examples of key observations to make when one is assessing the community through a windshield survey include the following:
- Age of the homes in the community
- Location of parks and other recreational areas
- Amount of space between homes and businesses
- Neighborhood hangouts
- Transportation in the community
- Quality and safety of streets and sidewalks
- Stores and other businesses
- People out in the community
- Cleanliness of the community
- Billboards or other media displays
- Places of worship
- Healthcare facilities
- Participant Observation
Spend time observing the population that is being assessed. Through observation of interactions among group members, much can be learned about the community, including the following:
- Developmental level of the population
- Effectiveness of peer-to-peer interactions
- Respect for peers and others
- Safety in the environment
- Economic status
- Informant Interviews (Police officer, Firefighter, School Principle are just some examples)
Informants could be people who are familiar with and interact with the population regularly.
Examples of questions that may be asked of key informants include the following:
- Strengths/assets of the community
- Areas of improvement for the community
- Concerns of community members
- Access to health care
- Emergency plans for natural or man-made disasters
- Be sure to cite your interview responses per APA (see page 179-180 in APA manual)
- Focus Groups (can be co-workers, family members) Ask questions via phone, Skype, FaceTime.
Focus groups (usually small groups of 6-12 people) can be helpful when one is gathering information about specific areas of concern within the population. The use of a focus group involves open dialogue about the population, whereas an interview or survey yields only individual responses.
- Focus groups may be effective in assessing the following:
- Satisfaction with services provided
- Community resources used
- Transportation issues within the community
- Safety within the community
- General concerns of members of the population
- Surveys (online or use Facebook)
Surveys may be used to collect data from the community. Selecting a sample of the target population may prove helpful in the collection of data that is easier to analyze. It is important to ensure that the sample is representative of the target population.
A survey should be developed that takes into consideration the developmental level of the group that is being assessed. Questions should be written at the appropriate developmental level, so they are answered in a way that makes the data useful. Surveys might include closed-ended (yes/no), multiple choice (several responses to choose from), Likert scale (Strongly Agree/Agree/Neutral/Disagree/Strongly Disagree), or open-ended (“why”/ “how”) questions.
Topics that may be addressed in a survey include the following:
- Demographic information
- Status of employment
- Safety within the community
- Safety in the environment
- Personal safety (seatbelts, helmets, etc.)
- Stressors/stress management patterns
- Risky behaviors
- Support systems
- Volunteer/community activities
- Rest patterns
- Dental hygiene
- Health promotion activities