Communicating Epidemiological Research to the Public

Creating a Press Release With the rise of the Internet and social media, information can be disseminated to the public more quickly and efficiently than ever. Increased access to public health information gives individuals the potential to be far better informed than their counterparts in previous generations. What happens, though, when inaccurate information is disseminated? How might inaccurate portrayals of findings adversely affect members of the lay public? One way to improve the accuracy of the dissemination of epidemiological information is to make sure that research studies are summarized in approachable yet objective ways. This is often done through press releases. With these thoughts in mind: Select an epidemiological research article from one of the previous weeks’ Learning Resources. Please note that policy, public health promotion, or opinion articles will not meet the requirements of the assignment this week. Post by Day 3 a brief description of the research article that you selected. Create a press release that accurately reflects the design, findings, and recommendations that can be easily disseminated to the lay public. Explain the most critical element of the study that should be communicated to the lay public. Finally, discuss how the presentation of epidemiological data to the lay public may affect social change. READING Readings Szklo, M., & Nieto, F. J. (2014). Epidemiology: Beyond the basics (3rd ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett. Chapter 9, “Communicating Results of Epidemiologic Studies” Deppen, S. A., Aldrich, M. C., Hartge, P., Berg, C. D., Colditz, G. A., Petitti, D. B., & Hiatt, R. A. (2012). Cancer screening: the journey from epidemiology to policy. Annals of Epidemiology, 22(6), 439-445. . Khoury, M. J., Gwinn, M., & Ioannidis, J. P. A. (2010). The emergence of translational epidemiology: From scientific discovery to population health impact. American Journal of Epidemiology, 172(5), 517–524. . Locarnini, S., Hatzakis, A., Chen, D. S., & Lok, A. (2015). Strategies to control hepatitis B: Public policy, epidemiology, vaccine and drugs. Journal of hepatology, 62(1), S76-S86. . Moore, M. R., & Whitney, C. G. (2015). Use of pneumococcal disease epidemiology to set policy and prevent disease during 20 years of the Emerging Infections Program. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 21(9), 1551-1558. Sample Press Releases American Association for Cancer Research (2016, June 23). Adherence to cancer prevention guidelines may reduce risk [Press release]. Retrieved from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016, May 4). Hepatitis C kills more Americans than any other infectious disease [Press release]. Retrieved from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (2016, May 31). U.S. may be greatly undercounting pediatric concussions [Press release]. Retrieved from World Health Organization (2016, May 19). Life expectancy increased by 5 years since 2000, but health inequalities persist [Press release]. Retrieved from