Online Program

Assessing capacity for monitoring chronic disease outcomes in health disparate populations

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Caitlin Hennessy, Community Health Promotion Research, RTI International, RTP, NC
Background: Currently, public health data collected by most major surveillance systems are available at national and state levels, and to a lesser extent, county level, limiting the ability to produce prevalence estimates for populations known historically to have a disproportionately high burden of disease and risk factors.

Methods: Using current surveillance system data, key chronic disease outcome estimates (weight, nutrition, physical activity, tobacco use prevalence, and emotional well-being) were evaluated to determine their usefulness in monitoring health disparate populations.

Results: After systematic searches, a total of 41 data sources were identified that addressed chronic disease outcomes on state and lower geographic units of analyses. Our findings indicate that no single or combined set of surveillance systems exists to allow estimation of changes in chronic disease outcomes or their distribution across the range of ages, racial, and socioeconomic groups targeted by community health programs. While 11 of the 41 data sources were relevant to applicable health outcomes, only 5 oversampled for racial/ethnic minorities. Further, for youth health outcomes, only 2 sources oversampled, limiting feasibility to analyze outcomes in health disparate populations.

Conclusion: The extent to which changes in outcomes of health disparate populations can be monitored using current surveillance systems is limited. It would be beneficial to improve access to current data by dedicating resources to create statistics for smaller-level geographies, and by providing tools that will aggregate data across areas with high concentrations of health disparate populations for larger sample sizes.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Program planning
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify the greatest gaps in current surveillance system coverage for monitoring community health with regards to health disparate populations. Describe the growing need to assess the utility of existing surveillance systems for monitoring chronic disease outcomes in populations with documented health disparities. Discuss the importance of consistency in sampling as well as the reliability and validity of measures/definitions of “health disparity”.

Keyword(s): Community Health Assessment, Health Disparities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have managed several tasks and been involved with this federally funded initiative focusing on existing surveillance systems, program evaluation, and health disparities in chronic disease outcomes.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.