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1. Define descriptive epidemiology and describe its relationship and role in nursing science today

Descriptive epidemiology deals with the rate of recurrence as well as the spreading of a health outcome. It involves delineating the distribution of health-related outcomes and events by individual, place, and time. Imperatively, a descriptive study aids the epidemiologist in becoming cognizant with the data, ascertain the magnitude of the public health issue, attain a description of the public health issue that can be effortlessly conveyed, ascertain the population at greatest risk, and offer indications as to the determining factors of the illness or disease (Merrill, 2015).

Descriptive epidemiology serves numerous specific tasks in the realm of nursing science in the present day. This comprises of pinpointing health problems that are emanating, reporting and monitoring on health associated behaviors and health status in populations. There are also the aspects of setting down the priorities for public health within a population and assessing the conceivable relations between health outcome and risk factors in order to come up with conceivable explanations regarding the potential determining factors of disease. Descriptive epidemiology plays a role in nursing science in regard to providing warnings about the bioterrorism dangers and measuring the efficacy of intervention programs (Timmreck, 2002).

Descriptive epidemiology encompasses three aspects including time, place, and person. Nursing epidemiologists conduct an analysis and compilation of data by time, place, and person and this is required and sought after in the field of nursing science in the present day owing to its numerous benefits. What is more, nursing epidemiologists in the practice of descriptive epidemiology generate a comprehensive account of the health of the populace that can be communicated in diagrams, graphs, and tables (Merrill, 2015).

(Video) Introduction to Theories of Knowledge Part 1: Ontology, Epistemology, Axiology in Nursing


The contemporary nursing science field extensively explores the utilization of descriptive epidemiology. The incidence of any illness changes with time. Imperatively, a number of changes faced can take place erratically whereas others will take place in a regular manner. Simultaneously, some illnesses, for instance salmonellosis, might come about at any given point in time. In regard to illnesses that take place in particular periods or seasons, nurses and other medical officers can foretell their manifestation and place numerous measures in position (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2014).


The incidence and manifestation of an illness can be delineated by place and more often than not offers awareness and discernment into the magnitude of the illness geographically and the manner in which it varies from a geographical standpoint. When characterization is undertaken in regard to place, it takes into consideration the place of residence for the illness together with other pertinent geographical whereabouts for the illness. Notably, a place can be as huge as an entire region or nation or simply a small location (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2014).


Characterization by person is undertaken by examining data of an individual through the use of different individualities such as inherited ones, for instance, sex and age, the ones that one acquires, biological ones, activities, in addition to conditions they subsist in. It is important to note that age plays a key role in descriptive epidemiology owing to the reason that it normally points out the age of an individual (Naito, 2014).

2. Provide a contemporary example of how descriptive epidemiology is applied in public health nursing.

In essence, epidemiology takes into account the basic science in public health nursing as it is a discipline that elucidates disease and health in populations as compared to an individual level. In addition, epidemiology delineates data actualities, which are pivotal in the inventing of active initiatives for public health to augment community health and preclude illnesses. Within the public health nursing field, descriptive epidemiology renders information that is utilized in directing an action in public health nursing. Epidemiology as a scientific discipline advanced in the area of controlling infectious diseases, through the statistical examination and analysis of predictable data to quantify the risk linked with unhygienic environments. The epidemiology of infectious disease and its applicability into to Public Health is referred to as health protection (Maurer and Smith, 2012).

One of the areas of applicability of epidemiology in public health is genetic epidemiology. In delineation, genetic epidemiology signifies a fusion of epidemiological designs and statistical models that openly take into consideration both genetic and environmental risk factors for illnesses that are complex. This encompasses the illnesses that have some genetic constituent to their etiology (Fallin, Duggal and Beaty, 2016). Comprehending the manner in which genes operate and interrelate and embodying the role of genetic inclination in human illness can aid in the accomplishment of several of the goals and objectives of public health. These goals comprise of enhanced prediction of persons at risk, design and execution of targeted biologic interventions and lastly profounder discernments into the biology of an illness, all of which ought to combine to enhance prevention and intervention approaches (Fallin, Duggal, and Beaty, 2016). Results from genetic epidemiological research can also provide guidance to policy and recommendations for public health services and might aid in modifying and personalizing pharmacological therapies to preclude adverse events and make the most of the efficacy centered on a person’s genetic constitution. Without a doubt, a great deal of the present enthusiasm in genetic epidemiology has been concentrated on the medical notion of personalized medicine; nonetheless, the population-based method of genetic epidemiology is the actual story of the manner in which public health genetics has developed and thrived. In accordance to Fallin, Duggal, and Beaty (2016), sequencing technology is steering the present era of genetic epidemiology. Imperatively, sequencing has the benefit of pinpointing all variants in the region of the genome. This novel stage has been shepherded by two forces including the developments in significant parallel or next-generation sequencing technology that is becoming cost-effective even for sample sizes of the magnitude perceived in epidemiology and the impending finishing of genome-wide association studies analyses.

3. Identify the epidemiology components used to analyze at risk-populations

There are three essential components of epidemiology that are employed in analyzing at-risk populations. These components comprise of disease distribution, disease determinants and disease frequency.

Measure of Disease Frequency

This takes into account the quantification of the existence or occurrence of illness and disease. A population is basically a group of persons with some common or mutual individuality, for instance, sex, age, gender, as well as place or region of residence. Counting the persons with disease is a significant basic measure of disease frequency that is imperative to distinguishing trends or the unexpected occurrence of a problem for instance an endemic. Basic counts of number of diseased persons are also significant to public health policy makers as well as planners for the assessment of the requirement for resources in a population. When measuring disease frequency, rates as well as proportions are largely beneficial when comparing groups, owing to the reason that they relate the number of persons with disease to the size of the population in which they manifest. Prevalence and incidence are the two key measures of disease frequency (MacMahon and Pugh, 1970).

(Video) PHILOSOPHY - Epistemology: Introduction to Theory of Knowledge [HD]

Distribution of Disease

This component takes into account three key questions. These comprise of: Who is getting the disease? Where is the disease occurring? And When is the disease occurring? Epidemiology deals with the frequency as well as pattern of health events in a population. Imperatively, frequency encompasses not just the number of such events in a populace, but also the rate or risk of disease in the population. The rate, which i obtained by the number of events divided by the size of the population, plays a key element to nursing epidemiologists owing to the reason that it permits valid comparisons across various populations.

Determinants of Disease

In using epidemiology, it is conceivable to make a determination of the health of a community simply by counting the number of individuals with particular diseases or poor health conducts who subsist in that area. In this epoch of tight budgets and restricted funds to preclude diseases, public health officials need to know the most ideal and appropriate way of utilizing their limited resources. This component of epidemiology can aid in making these decisions. For instance, if the numbers of persons who smoke in a certain locality is significantly low, limited resources might be more common, for instance, low levels of physical activity. What is more, it takes into account the determination of the causes of disease. Through the use of proper scientific approaches, epidemiology is beneficial in comprehending the adverse impacts that smoking has on numerous diseases, comprising of heart disease and lung cancer (Macera, Shaffer and Shaffer, 2013).


Fallin, M. D., Duggal, P., & Beaty, T. H. (2016). Genetic Epidemiology and Public Health: The Evolution From Theory to Technology. American journal of epidemiology, 183(5), 387-393.

Macera, C. A., Shaffer, R., & Shaffer, P. M. (2013). Introduction to epidemiology: Distribution and determinants of disease. New York: Cengage Learning.

MacMahon, B., & Pugh, T. F. (1970). Epidemiology: principles and methods. Epidemiology: principles and methods.

Maurer, F. A., & Smith, C. M. (2012). Community/public health nursing practice: Health for families and populations. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Merrill, R. M. (2015). Introduction to epidemiology. New Jersey: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

Naito, M. (2014). Utilization and application of public health data in descriptive epidemiology. Journal of epidemiology, 24(6), 435-436.

Stanhope, M., Lancaster, J., Jessup-Falcioni, H., & Viverais-Dresler, G. (2014). Community health nursing in Canada. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Timmreck, T. C. (2002). An introduction to epidemiology. New Jersey: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

(Video) Epistemology, Ontology, and Axiology in Research

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(Video) What is epistemology? Introduction to the word and the concept


What is the epistemology of nursing? ›

Nursing epistemology is the study of knowledge shared among the members of the discipline, the patterns of knowing and knowledge that develops from them, and the criteria for accepting knowledge claims.

What is the function of epistemology? ›

One goal of epistemology is to determine the criteria for knowledge so that we can know what can or cannot be known, in other words, the study of epistemology fundamentally includes the study of meta-epistemology (what we can know about knowledge itself).

What is epistemology in philosophy PDF? ›

EPISTEMOLOGY is the branch of philosophy that deals with what can be counted as knowledge, where knowledge is located, and how knowledge increases.

What are the 5 patterns of knowledge in nursing? ›

Core variable: The finding of the study indicated that nurses, sometimes such as critical situations, have the most flexibility and apply a combination of the five fundamental patterns of knowing (empirical, personal, ethical, aesthetic, and emancipatory) in their clinical practice which are appropriate to the context ...

What is an example of epistemology? ›

An example of epistemology is a thesis paper on the source of knowledge. (uncountable) The branch of philosophy dealing with the study of knowledge; theory of knowledge, asking such questions as "What is knowledge?", "How is knowledge acquired?", "What do people know?", "How do we know what we know?".

What is an epistemological approach? ›

In simple terms, epistemology is the theory of knowledge and deals with how knowledge is gathered and from which sources. In research terms your view of the world and of knowledge strongly influences your interpretation of data and therefore your philosophical standpoint should be made clear from the beginning.

What is epistemology and its importance? ›

Epistemology is the study of knowledge, asking questions such as: “what is knowledge?” and “how do we know something?” For human geographers, an appreciation of epistemology is important in order to critically assess the reliability of knowledge developed in the discipline, but also in understanding how knowledge plays ...

What is the role of epistemology in education? ›

Reflecting on questions of epistemological nature can help educators to be more intentional in their teaching – allowing perhaps the students themselves to become aware of their own learning process and personal development. This one of the reasons why Epistemology is included in our curriculum.

What are the 3 types of epistemology? ›

There are three main examples or conditions of epistemology: truth, belief and justification.

Who introduced epistemology? ›

The initial development of epistemic externalism is often attributed to Alvin Goldman, although numerous other philosophers have worked on the topic in the time since.

What are the branches of epistemology? ›

Epistemology has many branches that include essentialism, historical perspective, perennialsm, progressivism, empiricism, idealism, rationalism, constructivism etc. Empiricism and rationalism are two major constructing debates within the field of epistemological study that relate to business studies.

What is epistemology in research PDF? ›

Epistemology is concerned with. the acceptable of knowledge in the study field (Saunders et al., 2009). Major types of epistemology are objectivism, constructionism, and. subjectivism (Crotty, 1998).

Why is knowledge important in nursing? ›

This paper attempts to define nursing knowledge by discussing the evidence. It suggests that such knowledge is important to raise awareness of personal and professional accountability, inform the dilemmas of practice and improve patient care.

What are the 4 ways of knowing in nursing? ›

The four ways of knowing are empirics—the science of nursing, esthetics—the art of nursing, the component of personal knowledge in nursing, and ethics—the component of moral knowledge in nursing.

Who proposed the 4 ways of knowing in nursing? ›

The ways of knowing such as empirical, aesthetic, ethical, and personal knowing were defined by Carper while emancipatory knowing was defined by Chinn and Kramer.

What is epistemology in simple words? ›

Epistemology is the study of knowledge acquisition. It involves an awareness of certain aspects of reality, and it seeks to discover what is known and how it is known. Considered as a branch of philosophy, epistemology addresses cognitive sciences, cultural studies and the history of science.

How is epistemology related to science? ›

Epistemology concerns itself with ways of knowing and how we know what we know. In science, inquiry is typically the approach we use to both learn and teach science, but it is not the only way we come to understand the natural world.

What is another word for epistemology? ›

In this page you can discover 16 synonyms, antonyms, idiomatic expressions, and related words for epistemology, like: theory-of-knowledge, theory, phenomenology, objectivism, metaphysics, functionalism, metaphysic, structuralism, philosophical, epistemological and philosophy.

How many types of epistemology are there? ›

Traditionally, there are two approaches to epistemology: rationalism, which says we gain knowledge through reasoning, and empiricism, which says we gain knowledge through sensory experience.

What are the sources of knowledge in epistemology? ›

There are gernerally four sources of knowledge; intuition, authority, rational induction, and empiricism.

Is epistemology a methodology? ›

Epistemology modifies methodology and justifies the knowledge produced (Figure 1). Epistemology is theory of knowledge. Some philoso- phers are specialist epistemologists who study the com- ponents, sources, and limits of knowledge and of the justification of knowledge (Moser, 2002).

What is the advantage of epistemology? ›

Epistemology is important because it influences how researchers frame their research in their attempts to discover knowledge. By looking at the relationship between a subject and an object we can explore the idea of epistemology and how it influences research design.

What is the role of epistemology in curriculum development? ›

Epistemologically assessment is an important component of curriculum because it checks to establish whether teaching led to acquisition of knowledge and knowing.

What are the key elements of a proper epistemology? ›

What are the key elements of a proper Epistemology? Our senses are valid, and the only way to gain information about the world. Reason is our method of gaining knowledge, and acquiring understanding. Logic is our method of maintaining consistency within our set of knowledge.

What is the epistemology of learning? ›

Epistemology is the philosophical study of what knowledge is, and what it means for someone to “know” something. Central to the field of epistemology are questions regarding the nature of truth, the nature of justification, and types of knowledge, e.g., knowing how (skills) or knowing that (facts).

What epistemology studies about? ›

epistemology, the philosophical study of the nature, origin, and limits of human knowledge. The term is derived from the Greek epistēmē (“knowledge”) and logos (“reason”), and accordingly the field is sometimes referred to as the theory of knowledge.

What is epistemology in research? ›

Epistemology, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is the theory or science of the method and ground of knowledge. It is a core area of philosophical study that includes the sources and limits, rationality and justification of knowledge.

What is an example of a epistemology question? ›

Epistemology asks questions like: "What is knowledge?", "How is knowledge acquired?", "What do people know?", "What are the necessary and sufficient conditions of knowledge?", "What is its structure, and what are its limits?", "What makes justified beliefs justified?", "How we are to understand the concept of ...

What are the 5 sources of knowledge? ›

According to Donald Ary (2010:2-8), there are five major sources of knowledge. Those are experience, authority, deductive reasoning, inductive reasoning and scientific approach. Experience is a familiar and well-used source of knowledge.

How do you say epistemology? ›

Break 'epistemology' down into sounds: [I] + [PIST] + [I] + [MOL] + [UH] + [JEE] - say it out loud and exaggerate the sounds until you can consistently produce them. Record yourself saying 'epistemology' in full sentences, then watch yourself and listen.

How do you use epistemology in a sentence? ›

Her primary research areas are epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of logic, philosophy of language, and philosophy of mathematics. He did not only hold lectures in philosophy, but also in experimental psychology and epistemology.

Who is the philosopher of epistemology? ›

Plato's epistemology was an attempt to understand what it was to know, and how knowledge (unlike mere true opinion) is good for the knower.

What are epistemological issues? ›

Some historically important issues in epistemology are: (1) whether knowledge of any kind is possible, and if so what kind; (2) whether some human knowledge is innate (i.e., present, in some sense, at birth) or whether instead all significant knowledge is acquired through experience (see empiricism; rationalism); (3) ...

How does epistemology relate to everyday life? ›

Epistemology finds its prime application to validate a piece of news or a report. For instance, a news headline read “I have not been a part of any unethical practice held at the bank.” Here, epistemology can be used to identify whether or not the news headline is genuine.

Why is epistemology important in qualitative research? ›

An epistemological perspective provides a framework for predicting, describing, empowering, and deconstructing population-specific worldviews, increasing the base of knowledge that leads to enhanced understanding of the purpose behind qualitative research (Merriam, 2009).

Why is ontology and epistemology important in research? ›

While ontology deals with the nature of reality, epistemology is concerned with the nature, limits and justification of human knowledge. Maintaining clear lines of distinction between ontology and epistemology is largely seen as essential for maintaining objectivity in research.

How do you write ontology and epistemology in research? ›

Ontology, epistemology and research paradigm - YouTube

What was the relationship between nursing and scientific knowledge? ›

Nurses are more independent and they use scientific based knowledge to make changes to their work environment. Nurses are able to provide patient care in an effective manner by applying research based evidence to their practice, therefore guaranteeing safe and improved patient care.

What are the sources of knowledge in nursing? ›

Other sources of knowledge

Knowledge passed down through generations of nurses form the basis of traditional understanding. Traditional practices can be conveyed through observed practice, role modelling, written documents, books, journal articles, and often from 'experienced' practitioners.

How can nurses improve knowledge? ›

Group reflection can improve the knowledge, attitude and performance of nurses in relation to ethical codes. Although lectures can help improve nurses' knowledge and attitude in this area, they have no significant effects on their performance.

What is an example of empirical knowledge in nursing? ›

For example, through observation and practice, nurses learn how to find veins, insert intravenous fluids or medications, check vital signs, give immunizations and aid doctors in medical procedures. Empirical knowing encourages nurses to use fact-based approaches to address patient needs.

What are the 4 common concepts in nursing theory which is said to be the most important? ›

Four major concepts are frequently interrelated and fundamental to nursing theory: person, environment, health, and nursing. These four are collectively referred to as metaparadigm for nursing.

What are Roach's 6 C's of caring? ›

In 1992, Roach identified 5Cs of caring (compassion, competence, commitment, confidence and conscience), and added a sixth C (comportment) in a second edition in 2002.

What are the 4 patterns of knowing? ›

The four patterns of knowing as identify by Carper, are empirics, esthetics, personal knowledge and ethics.

What is the component of moral knowledge in nursing? ›

Ethics: the moral component of nursing

The moral component of knowing in nursing goes beyond knowledge of the norms or ethical codes of conduct: it involves making moment-to-moment judgments about what ought to be done, what is good and right, and what is responsible.

What is ethical knowing in nursing? ›

Ethical awareness involves recognizing the ethical implications of all nursing actions, and is the first step in moral action (Milliken & Grace, 2015). This means that nurses must first recognize the potential ethical repercussions of their actions in order to effectively resolve problems and address patient needs.

What is the nature of knowledge in nursing? ›

Nursing knowledge is the means by which the whole purpose of caring for patients is achieved because it underpins what we actually do. It is what defines us as nurses as opposed to similar professions such as doctors or physiotherapists, and helps to differentiate us from lay carers or care support workers.

What is nurse ontology? ›

Ontological worldviews, also referred to as paradigms, discourses, or philosophies, propose various beliefs about specific concepts in nursing practice, such as human beings, health, change, the environment, and the role of the nurse (Reed, 2018).

What is ontology and example? ›

What is ontology? Introduction to the word and the concept - YouTube

What are the four types of nursing knowledge? ›

She identified four types of nursing knowledge – empirical, personal, aesthetic and ethical – and suggested that no one form of knowledge was superior to the other, instead each was essential to the practice of nursing.

Why is knowledge important in nursing? ›

This paper attempts to define nursing knowledge by discussing the evidence. It suggests that such knowledge is important to raise awareness of personal and professional accountability, inform the dilemmas of practice and improve patient care.

What was the relationship between nursing and scientific knowledge? ›

Nurses are more independent and they use scientific based knowledge to make changes to their work environment. Nurses are able to provide patient care in an effective manner by applying research based evidence to their practice, therefore guaranteeing safe and improved patient care.

What is difference between ontology and epistemology? ›

Ontology is concerned with what is true or real, and the nature of reality. Epistemology is concerned with the nature of knowledge and different methods of gaining knowledge.

What is axiology in nursing? ›

In nursing, axiology is used to try to pinpoint how to approach a patient's care by focusing on the intrinsic value of health and what they value as an individual, as well as the patient's rights.

What is epistemology ontology and axiology? ›

the nature of reality and of what really exists (ontology) the relationship between the knower and what is known (epistemology) what we value (axiology) the strategy and justifications in constructing a specific type of knowledge (methodology), as linked to individual techniques (method/s).

What is epistemology in simple words? ›

Epistemology is the study of knowledge acquisition. It involves an awareness of certain aspects of reality, and it seeks to discover what is known and how it is known. Considered as a branch of philosophy, epistemology addresses cognitive sciences, cultural studies and the history of science.

What is epistemology in research? ›

Epistemology, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is the theory or science of the method and ground of knowledge. It is a core area of philosophical study that includes the sources and limits, rationality and justification of knowledge.

What comes first ontology or epistemology? ›

The first branch is ontology, or the 'study of being', which is concerned with what actually exists in the world about which humans can acquire knowledge. Ontology helps researchers recognize how certain they can be about the nature and existence of objects they are researching.


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