Portland-State-University 2022-2023 Bulletin

CPH 522 Communicating Public Health Data

Traditionally, public health findings and surveillance data are disseminated through publications and reports designed for the academic and scientific community. Today, with growing access to public health data for the general population, there is also the increasing risk of data being misunderstood, misused or poorly interpreted. Thus we have a significant role in synthesizing, interpreting and presenting data in ways that nonscientific audiences can understand and use. The purpose of this course is to explore public health surveillance systems; retrieve and analyze data for health disparities and inequities, and develop communication approaches regarding the findings for: the community at risk, the general public, policy makers, and the press. Principles of communicating scientific data to lay audiences and the concept of “place based approaches” as effective framing language will be explored. The strengths and limitations of various data presentation formats will be tested as students research different audiences and determine what data to use, the key messages, and how to present the data effectively.


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  • 500