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 Table of Contents  
SHORT COMMUNICATION
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 291-292

Feasibility of community diagnosis in ensuring prioritization of health concerns: Perspective of developing countries


Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication16-Oct-2014

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh R Shrivastava
3rd floor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai, Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam, Kancheepuram - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2348-3334.143009

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  Abstract 

A community refers to a group of people who share the same stakes and concerns, the members of which knows and interact with each other. The process of diagnosing the health, health-related problems and their determinants, in a community is called community diagnosis, whose ultimate aim is to identify where the community is now?, where does it want to be?, and how it will get there? The principles of community diagnosis have been tried and found of extreme utility in developing countries where multiple health problems are prevalent, but only scarce resources are available. To conclude, the process of community diagnosis enables developing countries in reaching a consensus about the priority health problems in their individual communities and in developing strategies to address the identified issues.

Keywords: Community, developing countries, diagnosis, health, information


How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Feasibility of community diagnosis in ensuring prioritization of health concerns: Perspective of developing countries. CHRISMED J Health Res 2014;1:291-2

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Feasibility of community diagnosis in ensuring prioritization of health concerns: Perspective of developing countries. CHRISMED J Health Res [serial online] 2014 [cited 2019 Nov 21];1:291-2. Available from: http://www.cjhr.org/text.asp?2014/1/4/291/143009


  Introduction Top


A community refers to a group of people who share the same stakes and concerns, the members of which knows and interact with each other. [1] Epidemiological methods can be used to assess the health and well-being (viz. morbidity/mortality/health seeking behavior) of the people living in a community or in a defined geographical area. [1] This process of diagnosing the health, health-related problems and their determinants, in a community is called community diagnosis, whose ultimate aim is to identify where the community is now?, where does it want to be?, and how it will get there? [2] The basic purpose of community diagnosis is to assess the health situation in the community, its dimensions/determinants, and whether the community has achieved the objectives proposed by the health policies and programs. [3] The principles of community diagnosis have been tried and found of extreme utility in developing countries where multiple health problems are prevalent, but only scarce resources are available. [1],[3]

Community diagnosis: Characteristics and scope

The process of community diagnosis should possess some characteristics, namely ability to address important community problems which are amenable to practical control; ability to identify most of the targeted health events; adequacy in reflecting changes in distribution of events over time, place and person; a clearly defined population, data collection, data flow, analysis, interpretation, and feedback; orientation towards appropriate action; and should be participatory, uncomplicated, sensitive, timely, and inexpensive. [1],[2] As the community consists of heterogeneous groups, the overall objective should not be limited to estimation of the magnitude of the health problems and its determinants, but should also be expanded to include issues such as health needs, equity, efficacy, protection of individuals, and responsiveness to expectations. [2] Furthermore, the diagnosis of the state of health of a community must also be dynamic (viz. should take into account not only the current status but also the impact that the preventive measures may have on health status of future generations) as it allows the results to be used as an evidence for discussion among the stakeholders in the community and assists the policy makers in setting priorities and making decisions for allocation of the resources. [2]

Framework of community diagnosis

Prior to the actual initiation of the process of community diagnosis, first step is to define the target community (viz. a particular geographical area or a defined group such as pregnant mothers, infants, etc.) in order to avoid chance of over representation of sub-groups from which it is easy to obtain data. [4],[5] Secondly, health indicators (both positive and negative) should be defined well in advance to obtain effective information utilizing a variety of sources of information/methods (viz. existing health system records, active and passive surveillance/screening, or survey results/registration of vital events). [4],[5] The selection of source/methods can be identified based on the objectives, investment, and resources available. The collected information can be compiled and analyzed over a period of time to establish a trend to assess the changes in a community of the health situation, the burden of illness, and the prevalence of risk factors. [6]

Process of community diagnosis

In presence of sufficient time and resources, the initial move is to establish a community diagnosis team, consisting of motivated individuals who can act as advocates for a broad range of community members and can appropriately represent the concerns of diverse populations within the community. [1],[4] This team will analyze the existing health data, collect the data from the community on health issues of interest with the help of a questionnaire/focus group discussions, and then combine both the data to have a basic understanding of the community's major health issues including comparison with other communities. [6] On the basis of data, health issues will be prioritized and a plan of action (viz. appropriate and effective health interventions or prevention strategies) will be formulated and implemented. [6] Finally, assessment will be done to identify to what extent the community is making changes to improve their health and health-related indicators and the entire information will be shared with the members of the community and other stakeholders. [1],[5] However, community diagnosis has been found to be ineffective if adequate support from members of the community is not adequate. [1],[6] The principles of community diagnosis have been successfully implemented in multiple settings to manage heterogeneous public health problems. [7],[8]


  Conclusion Top


To conclude, the process of community diagnosis enables developing countries in reaching a consensus about the priority health problems in their individual communities and developing strategies to address the issues identified.

 
  References Top

1.
Park K. Concepts of health and disease. In: Park K, editor. Textbook of Preventive and Social Medicine. 20 th ed. Jabalpur: Banarsidas Bhanot; 2009. p. 46-7, 584.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Gupta MC, Mahajan BK. Epidemiological approach in preventive and social medicine. In: Roy RN, editor. Textbook of Preventive and Social Medicine. 4 th ed. New Delhi: Jaypee publishers; 2013. p. 23-4.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Ramos Ruiz JA, Perez Milena A, Enguix Martínez N, Alvarez Nieto C, Martinez Fernandez ML. Community diagnosis using qualitative techniques of expectations and experiences in a health area in need of social transformation. Aten Primaria 2013;45:358-67.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Murayama H, Uematsu S, Suzuki Y. Effectiveness of a community diagnosis workshop for the staff of a community comprehensive support center. Nihon Koshu Eisei Zasshi 2013;60:10-20.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Vaidya A, Pradhan A, Joshi SK, Gopalakrishnan S, Dudani I. Acquaintance with the actuality: Community diagnosis programme of Kathmandu Medical College at Gundu village, Bhaktapur, Nepal. Kathmandu Univ Med J 2008;6:128-34.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Art B, De Roo L, Willems S, De Maeseneer J. An interdisciplinary community diagnosis experience in an undergraduate medical curriculum: Development at Ghent University. Acad Med 2008;83:675-83.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Olaseha IO, Sridhar MK. Participatory action research: Community diagnosis and intervention in controlling urinary schistosomiasis in an urban community in Ibadan, Nigeria. Int Q Community Health Educ 2005-2006;24:153-60.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Leekassa R, Bizuneh E, Alem A, Fekadu A, Shibre T. Community diagnosis of common skin diseases in the Zay community of the Zeway Islands, Ethiopia. Ethiop Med J 2005;43:189-95.  Back to cited text no. 8
    




 

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