PS100: Research Assignment (Fall 2012)

How large is the problem?

When exploring a problem it is useful to find out how large a problem it is.  How many people die in car accidents each year?  What is the rate of diabetes? 

To answer health-related questions, the National Center for Health Statistics collects data from doctors and public health clinics.  In addition,  they survey individual citizens about their health habits, access to services and other health related issues.  FastStats A-Z is the website where the most frequently sought statistics are published.

While FastStats may have some information about trends in health behaviors, it may not have information for more than a decade.  The Statistical Abstract of the United States isavailable online back to 1878.  WARNING: It is in pdf format broken into large files and takes time and patience to navigate and download.  Since interest in and budgets for collecting data about specific aspects of American life vary, you will find not every present health issue was tracked statistically 20 or 50 years ago.


How is the condition treated?

Medical textbooks and professional association guidelines give standard methods of appropriate treatment.  Use Stat!Ref and search the textbook Current Medical Diagnosis and Treatment. Harrison’s Internal Medicine is also useful.

Current Medical Diagnosis and Treatment
Harrison’s Internal Medicine
(Both resources are available from Stat!Ref on Databases A-Z on the library website.)


What are issues in patients seeeking treatment?
How is it paid for?

Discussion of issues concerning health care can be found in newspapers, magazines and journals.  Use ProQuest Research Library or the newspaper, The New York Times.  Think about the terms you need to use.

ProQuest Research Library
The New York Times
(Both resources are available from Databases A-Z on the library website.)


What do some health insurance companies provide?

Independence Blue Cross
• Kaiser Permanente



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University of the Sciences in Philadelphia
Page last updated: 9/17/2012

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