Within the context of any research, the Validity of an assessment means the degree to which that assessment can measure while reliability is the extent to which a certain measurement gives consistent results. Validity is dependent on the measurement that measures what it was designed for and not something else (Moon, Gould, & Colleagues, 2000). Just because a measure can be reliable does not mean it is valid. However, validity and reliability can be similar when based on matters of degrees (Susanne, 2006). There are other concepts that should be put into consideration. This paper conducts an evaluation and inquiry into the annual report of the NHS East Sussex 2009-2010, in terms of health needs and health assessment.
Description of the Report
Epidemiological study designs fall into two categories; the observational study designs and the experimental study designs (Friis, & Sellers 2009). The observation research designs include the cohort, the cross-section, the ecological and the case-controlled designs. Each study design represents the different way information is harnessed. The research question, concerns the validity, ethical considerations and the efficiency of the method are key factors to put into consideration (Hawe, Degeling, & Hall, 1991).
In the annual report of the NHS East Sussex 2009-2010, the research method used was the retrospective cohort design. The design is a cohort because the population was categorized based on the rate of deprivation as most deprived and less deprived, followed by a study conducted to test various exposure levels as life expectancy, exposure to cancer cases, respiratory diseases, just to mention a few. The unit of analysis is the population and the individuals. The population under study includes the residents of the five districts of East Sussex, which include Hastings, Eastbourne, Walden, Rother, and Lewis. The individuals in groups are used when dealing with those prone to smoking and other health related vulnerability. The design is a retrospective in the sense that the historical exposures are the unit under study. The selection of retrospective Cohort, as a study design for this study, was appropriate for this research because of the availability of study populations and records. It is also time saving and cheap to use the retrospective cohort study, especially when dealing with such a large population, compared to other methods such as experimental, cross-sectional and prospective cohort study. However, this design of study contributes to errors. First, there is little information available on the confounders, contacts for follow-up, exposures and outcomes since the design method used typically relies only on historical records that were not necessary designed for research purposes. Secondly, retrospective data make it difficult to identify the correct temporal relationship between the outcomes and the exposures. Thirdly, the study design used makes the research particularly prone to bias because the outcome occurs before the cohort is assembled, as well as before the exposures are assessed. The process of ascertaining the accuracy and reliability of the methods of measuring and the recording techniques is difficult. Basis of Evaluation: validity, comprehensiveness, representativeness and reliability of