Conducting Community Health Assessments: Leveraging Data for Decisions

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1414 Words
Date:  2023-02-06


Community health assessment is the process through which an administration conducts an assessment to identify the specific healthcare needs and issues affecting a specific locality. Data plays a significant role in healthcare assessment and decision making (Queiros, Faria, & Almeida, 2017). Community healthcare decisions are based on available information which is categorized into either qualitative or quantitative data (Armstrong, Flemming, Kupeli, Stone, Wilkinson, & Candy, 2019). The choice of the type of data to be used in community healthcare assessment depends significantly on the nature and the size of the area to be covered as well as the components of the community in question (Shah, 2019). This paper will compare the different benefits and limitations of using qualitative or quantitative data in community health assessment.

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Quantitative Data

Quantitative data refers to the measure of numbers which include values and counts and seek to establish variables such as 'how much,' 'how many,' and 'how often' (South, Jones, Stansfield, & Bagnali, 2018). Quantitative data is concerned with numerical facts with fixed and measurable reality of the overall healthcare situation in a community (Queiros et al., 2017). In healthcare assessment, quantitative data involves the use of mathematical models and statistical applications in computing available data into meaningful data outputs which can be used in decision making (Rahman, 2017).

The Benefit of Quantitative Data in Community Health Assessment

Quantitative data can be generalized to a large population/study area. The primary benefit of using quantitative data in community health assessment is that quantitative research involves the use of random samples which can be generalized in a large population area (Mott, 2018). For instance, the use of statistical software helps to create a framework which can be used to generalize using a small sample of the population (Rahman, 2017). This makes it possible to conduct a community health assessment in large areas and populations.

Limitation of Quantitative Data

Quantitative data fails to relate data to a common social phenomenon. In a community context, different social aspects cannot be quantified in numbers, and the generalization of the quantitative data makes it difficult to ascertain the deeper meanings of the social context (Queiros et al., 2017). Besides, the data can fail to materialize in terms of understanding the cultural and traditional aspects of health and how they influence the overall health outcomes of the community (Rahman, 2017). The snapshot approach of quantitative data also is associated with only a single and specific moment and provides an overall picture of the situation without more in-depth scrutiny.

Examples of how Quantitative Data Can be Useful

Establishing the extent of a problem. Quantitative data is numerical and in community health assessment it can be used to identify the specific size of the population that is affected which helps to budget the needed cost, quantity of the medicine and also the number of healthcare providers that will be involved (Queiros et al., 2017).

Quantitative data is objective and specific. The quantitative data has high objectivity and specificity can be used in community health needs assessment by establishing the financial implications, quantifying the problem and managing the resources that will be required to address the problem (Queiros et al., 2017).

Qualitative Data

Qualitative data refers to a research method used by researchers and scientists to study human habits and behaviors to investigate certain situations and trends (Santos, Erdmann, Meirelles, Lanzoni, Cunha, & Ross, 2017). It is an interactive approach whereby the researchers interact with people either directly or indirectly (Queiros et al., 2017). Data is collected through conducting interviews, individual case studies, observation, and survey techniques (McCusker & Gunaydin, 2015). Qualitative data is easy to plan and flexible method of research which is suitable in both small scale and large scale sampling (Rahman, 2017). Application of qualitative research methods has continuously led to the improvement of the health care system in many hospitals and clinics.

The Benefit of Qualitative Data in Community Health Assessment

One can obtain in-depth descriptive data which can be probed. Qualitative data is subjective and can be examined further, which is instrumental in understanding data and the scope of the situation at hand (Queiros et al., 2017). Qualitative data has resulted in efficient concepts developed based on participants' views and experiences which have led to quality health care systems (Rahman, 2017). The qualitative methodology uses approaches such as interviews, observations, secondary materials such as books, magazines, and video clips so as researchers can clarify and come up with the best practices in the hospitals (Nuraeni & Rahmat, 2018).

Limitation of Qualitative Data

Studies are not replicable or generalizable. Qualitative data cannot be transferred from one area to another because it is subjective and only represents specific views or health nature within the community (Saketkoo & Pauling, 2018). For instance, qualitative data from women in the community on their specific needs cannot be generalized to the male population within the community or in another community.

Examples of Qualitative Data Application

Applicable when subjective and specific data is needed. The qualitative data is more subjective, which is instrumental in identifying the views of the people on the community health condition as well as key attributes to health (Queiros et al., 2017). Qualitative data is best suited for the community health assessment because it helps understand the complex phenomenon involving various perspectives on the issue (Rahman, 2017). For instance, in determining obesity, medical conditions, moral and cultural habits which can be considered as disease risk factors.

Qualitative data is applicable when there is a short period of time. Using the qualitative data approach reduces the time taken because the respondents can be interviewed in their residences and with minimal notification time (Williams, Boylan, & Nunan, 2019). This is essential, especially when the problem in the community is urgent, and conducting a quantitative research would take more time (Queiros et al., 2017). Besides, in the cases where cultural elements and behavioral factors are required, qualitative data is more effective in such instances.


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Conducting Community Health Assessments: Leveraging Data for Decisions. (2023, Feb 06). Retrieved from

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