HS915-7-AU: HEALTH NEEDS ASSESSMENT AND PRIORITY SETTING
Department: Health and Human Sciences
Essex credit: 15
ECTS credit: 7.5
Available to year(s) of study:
Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students: No Comments: Available to:
Masters in Public Health - Core Module/MSc HCM, MSc HCP - Optional Module
|Module is taught during the following terms
Local, national and international goals to improve health outcomes and reduce inequalities, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), can only be achieved through the strengthening of health systems. With economic crises, demographic changes, advances in technology, rising costs of health care, and increasing specialisation of health interventions governments are seeking innovative ways of co-ordinating the efforts of all sectors, utilising the energies of communities and prioritising health needs.
Health Needs Assessment (HNA) can provide a reliable, detailed, comprehensive overview of information and data on a population, community or subgroup of people as an essential evidence base for the creation of policies, strategies and services to improve population health and reduce inequalities. The values and goals enshrined in the Alma Ata Declaration (WHO 1978) and the Rio Political Declaration (WHO 2012) need to inform the process of health needs assessment in order to respond to the challenges raised in Closing the Gap in a Generation (WHO 2008) and to assess population needs.
Health needs assessment thus requires a skilled and competent public health workforce capable of producing change. This module will equip students with the knowledge and skills to conduct health needs assessments in a variety of settings, a critical approach to identify inequalities and set priorities for the investment in health services and the understanding of the role of health needs assessment in planning processes (Bhopal 2007).
The aims of the module are to explore the role of health needs assessment and priority setting in the reduction of health inequalities, and to equip participants with an advanced understanding of the tools and techniques that support this process.
This module will enable the student to:
Critique and analyse current international approaches to population health needs assessment in relation to health inequalities, policy development, legal and ethical issues, financial implications, community participation and public health practice.
Develop a systematic and critical understanding of the information sources and research tools that underpin the identification and assessment of population health need.
Acknowledge, debate and critique notions, problems and solutions in the purpose and process of priority setting to address health inequalities.
Reflect upon one's own professional practice and work as a group, translating research evidence to prepare, present and critique a plan for assessing need within a defined population
Learning & Teaching Methods
There will be 10 formal 2 hour sessions of lectures and seminars, group discussion and reflection on practice. In addition, students will engage in self directed reading and study structured around the weekly presentation of problems and case studies.
A key feature is the Problem Based Learning (PBL) approach, with timetabled group work of one hour each week to simulate a multi-sectoral approach to needs assessment. The PBL will guide students through the examination of key stages in the development of a plan for conducting a health needs assessment in a selected population, and will culminate in a group presentation to the class.
Formative assessment will be provided for the group work contributions and group processes. Summative assessment will focus upon the development of a proposal for a needs assessment to address health inequalities.
100 per cent Coursework Mark
Exam Duration and Period
Please note that if insufficient numbers of students (i.e. <10) opt to take this module we may have to cancel it at short notice. If this is the case we will of course notify anyone who has applied to take this course in a particular term as soon as possible and offer an opportunity to discuss alternative options.
- Gilmore GD (2011) Needs and Capacity Assessment Strategies for Health Education and Health Promotion
HDA (Health Development Agency) (2005) Clarifying Approaches to: Health Needs Assessment, Health Impact Assessment, Integrated Impact Assessment, Health Equity Audit, and Race Equality Impact Assessment. London: Health Development Agency
NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) (2005) Health Needs Assessment: a practical guide. London: NICE
Peterson DJ and Alexander GR (2001) Needs assessment in public health: a practical guide for students and professionals. New York: Kluwer Academic