Epidemiology and Nursing White Paper

Excerpt from White Paper :

Epidemiology Intersecting With and Impacting Nursing Work

Although epidemiological research may seem far removed from the work of the clinical nurse, in actuality it has a material impact upon how nurses interact with patients every day. A good example of this is the mounting epidemiological evidence indicating that there is an obesity epidemic in the United States. Without this knowledge, a nurse might be inclined to ignore a patient whose weight is on the borderline of overweight and normal weight, particularly if the patient is young. But the risk of children and adolescents becoming overweight, despite the previously high levels of activity and growth of these age groups, is likewise increasing due to sedentary behaviors and an increased reliance upon convenience, nutrient-poor but calorically dense foods.

If a child or an adult has risk factors such as sedentary behavior, poverty, or membership in certain historically discriminated-against groups with higher risk factors for obesity, the nurse can benefit from this knowledge and also tailor his or her advice regarding meaningful practices to reduce the risk of becoming overweight as well as for developing type II diabetes and conditions associated with obesity (Nguyen & El-Serag 2010). Parents who are overweight and obese are also more inclined to have obese and overweight children: even before children manifest a high BMI, nurses can provide advice to make healthy eating and exercise more normative within the family dynamic (Nguyen & El-Serag 2010). Epidemiology can have a powerful preventative function: people often have a poor sense of control over their weight. They may over-emphasize the role of genetics, which while a factor in obesity, it is not the only component of manifesting the disorder. "Kant et al. used dietary data from four consecutive NHANES studies consisting of 39,094 adults in the United States to show that the temporal trends in the increase of the quantity and energy density of foods consumed by adults parallel the increasing prevalence of obesity in the U.S. population. Data from the Central Statistical Office show that car ownership and television viewing, proxy measures of physical inactivity, closely parallel the rising trends in obesity in England" (Cited by Nguyen & El-Serag 2010).

Nurses can also use epidemiological evidence to combat patient fears and insecurities regarding issues such as vaccines. Parents are often reluctant to seek seasonal immunization, particularly if they nor their children have never personally experienced the flu. However, there is…

Sources Used in Documents:


Influenza. (2014). CDC. Retrieved from: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/flu.html

Nguyen, D. & El-Serag, H. (2010).The epidemiology of obesity. Gastroenterology Clinics of North America, 39(1): 1 -- 7. Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2833287/

Cite This White Paper:

"Epidemiology And Nursing" (2015, April 24) Retrieved September 25, 2020, from

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