Community Diagnosis

Definition

According to WHO definition it is “a quantitative and qualitative description of the health citizens and the factors which influence their health. It identifies problems, proposes areas for improvement and stimulates action.”

The stages involved in the process of community diagnosis:

The process of community diagnosis involves four stages-

  • Initiation
  • Data collection and analysis
  • Diagnosis
  • Dissemination

Initiation

  • Dedicated committee or working group should be set up to manage and coordinate the project
  • The committee should involve relevant parties such as government department, health professionals and non government organizations.
  • It is important to identify the available budget and resources to determine the scope of the Diagnosis
  • Some of the common areas to be studied may include—
    • Health status
    • Life styles
    • Living condition
    • Socioeconomic condition
    • Physical and social infrastructure
    • Inequalities
    • As well as public health services and policies

Data Collection & Analysis

  • The project should collect both quantitative and qualitative data
  • Population census and statistical data e.g. population size, sex and age structure, medical services, public health, social services, education, housing, public security and transporting etc. can provide background of the district

The community data can be collected by conducting survey through

  • Self-administered questionnaires
  • Face to face interviews
  • Focus group discussion
  • Telephone interviews

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of the community is reached from conclusions drawn from the data analysis. It should preferably comprise three areas:

  • Health status of the community
  • Determination of health in the community
  • Potential for healthy city development

Dissemination

  • The production of the community diagnosis report is not an end in itself; efforts should be put into communication to ensure that targeted actions are taken
  • The target audience of the community diagnosis includes policy makers, health professionals and the general public in the community
  • The report can be disseminated through the following channels
    • Presentations at meetings of the health boards and committees or forums organized for voluntary organizations, local community groups and the general public
    • Press release
    • Thematic events

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