Details of assessment requirements
Background for Assignments 1 and 2
Injuries are a major cause of preventable death and disability worldwide. Time precludes us from covering injury as a topic in the course despite its importance as a public health issue. Therefore this assignment will assist you to explore this field yourself and in so doing apply a range of skills required for public health practice and management.
Before undertaking your assignment you are advised to review the slides in Moodle on How to find public health information.
Addressing the problem of injury in the population requires us to follow 4 steps known as the Public Health Approach. This is illustrated in the following figure. We need to start by understanding the size of the problem and identifying the risk factors. Such information will indicate how serious the injury problem is and where prevention measures are most urgently needed. Then we can evaluate potential interventions and widely implement those found to be effective. Our lectures will give you the necessary background to understand the public health approach and you will have the opportunity to look at material relevant to each of the steps of the model (as they relate to injury) as you undertake Assignments 1 and 2.
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Assignments 1 and 2 require you to write scientific reports on the topic of injury (details under assignment headings) which would be suitable for hypothetical colleagues who are public health practitioners and managers. Therefore you may assume a high level of knowledge of public health in general; though you should assume the group you are writing for has not worked in the area of injury prevention and control.
In presenting your work please avoid use of the word accident. Practitioners who work in injury prevention avoid the word accident because it implies that such events are unpredictable and unavoidable. As you do your research you will see that injuries are largely predictable and preventable.
Students wishing to learn more about the practical application of the public health approach to injury prevention might be interested to read this paper by Jones et al: http://er.library.unsw.edu.au/er/cgi-bin/eraccess.cgi?url=http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2009.10.001
Stay within the word limit for each assignment. Given the restrictive word limits (e.g. 1500 words) you will have to be selective in what you write. Keep to the point and avoid unnecessary detail or waffle. Sentences are preferred to dot points which should be used sparingly. Your tutor will focus on your written text. You may use tables and diagrams for numerical data and illustrations to enhance the text but they should be kept to a minimum. Do not provide large tables packed with information as a way of reducing your word limit as they will not be marked in any detail.
Ensure that your report is written scientifically. This means your work should include evidence to support any claims you make from a careful search of appropriate literature (scientific literature government reports and authoritative sources). Your work must be appropriately referenced. References are NOT counted as part of your word limit. Note your word limit at the top of your assignment. Word limits will be checked when your work is marked.
PHCM9041 Foundations in Public Health & Health Care Systems
10 UNSW School of Public Health and Community Medicine
A1. Assignment 1: General injury report
Word limit: 1500
In this report you will focus on one of the following (unintentional) injuries only: burns falls poisoning drowning or road traffic injuries. Confine your report to one country (e.g. Australia) or one region (e.g. Asia). If you wish you can further focus your chosen injury mechanism in relation to a specific population subgroup (e.g. falls in children or falls in older people). You should endeavour to provide detailed information from appropriate resources such that your readers understand the extent of the problem within the population and the identified risk factors in the country or area on which you are reporting. Consider also whether risk is distributed equally within your population.1
Research the literature to identify the range of interventions that are (or should be) available to prevent and control this injury. Review government websites and reports to understand
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what is being done at a population level in the country or region that you have selected. You should discuss the interventions in terms of the 3 Es of injury prevention (education enforcement and engineering)2; and briefly review the evidence of their effectiveness (you will likely need to search Medline or the Cochrane Library3). To what extent is this injury addressed comprehensively? For example a comprehensive approach to injury prevention would see a range of interventions within the cells of the Haddons matrix4.
Conclude your report with any recommendations for areas of further action.
Your final page should include an example of a completed Haddons matrix for the injury mechanism you have selected. Please note depending on what you have chosen you may need to select just one aspect for the Haddons matrix or the task will be bigger than required e.g. interventions to prevent burns from fire; or interventions to prevent burns from scalds. Ensure you define what aspect you are looking at in the Haddons matrix.
1 See for example: Poulos R. et al. (2007). Area socioeconomic status and childhood injury morbidity in New South Wales Australia. Injury Prevention 13(5): 322-327.
2 These are well recognised within the injury prevention field. You should have no trouble finding literature to explain what they mean.
3 Public health practitioners must be familiar with these resources. See the UNSW library and your lecture notes on Evidence-Based Public Health.
4 Haddons matrix is a tool frequently used in injury prevention. You will need to do your own research on this.
PHCM9041 Foundations in Public Health & Health Care Systems
12 UNSW School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Assignments 1 and 2 help you to meet the following outcomes for this course:
Access and interpret data and information for public health purposes
Identify some of the determinants of health and disease in populations and discuss the management of risk factors
Recognise the public health needs of population subgroups and discuss reasons for differences in health status
Demonstrate understanding of the principles of public health and its role in improving the health of the community
Consider the impact of policy and programs on health
Explain the importance of intersectoral collaboration in public health and the role of advocacy in achieving public health outcomes
In assessing your work we will be looking at the following:
Evidence to show an understanding of and ability to source interpret and reflect on relevant public health information.
A depth of analysis evidence of critical thinking and conclusions supported by evidence.
Clear expression and an ability to write scientifically.
Referencing which is undertaken accurately and as necessary.
Adherence to word limit and format requirements (Please note: The word limit will be checked during marking).
A3. Tutorial participation
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