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Healthy People 2010

1. What is the importance of conducting a needs assessment ? I think to make sure all americans are getting health access for example pre-natal care, health insurance coverage. etc.

2.How can health planners us epidemiological data and Healthy People 2010 ? I have read several web articles. The understanding the I have gotten is epidemiology is thee study of a disease that deals with how many people have it, where they are, how many new cases develop and how to control the disease.

3.What are the factors that influence the development of health behavior and how does Healthy People 2010 utliize this information ?. I think they utilize the data to find out the whether a certain disease rate is rising or lowering.

Please help lead me in the right direction. I have been pondering for a week. The more articles I read the more confused I get. There is such a vast amount of info such as CDC and other Healthy 2010 sites including Healthy 2000.

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First of all you need to explain briefly what Healthy People 2010 is. It's a government initiative so it is policy which has to be translated into practice. It's also a postivie approach to health as it aims to promote improvement in the population's health by understanding current problems which relate to 'chronic' or long-term heath issues not target the acute disease processes. For example one of the focus areas is obesity (which isn't a pathological disease) but is linked to diabetes and heart disease (both chronic). It's not looking to count the number of cardiac arrests that occur each year.

So if you go to a site like you will get a broad overview of the initiative.

Your first question about needs assessment is fundamental in this kind of programme. If the two main aims of HP2010 are to be met
-an increase in the quality and length of healthy life
- to eliminate health disparities ...