Community Health Assessment Guidelines and Tips

What is Community Assessment in Public Health?

It is the process of identifying the assets, strengths, needs, and challenges of a specified community. Assets direct to the talents, skills, and capabilities of individuals as well as the resources that local institutions contribute to the community. 
Fig: Community health assessment guidelines

How to Conduct Community Health Assessment?

The process of conducting a community assessment can be divided into three phases i.e. pre-assessment, assessment, and post-assessment. During the pre-assessment phase, the below questions have to consider:

  • What is going to be assessed?
  • What is already known?
  • What data will need to be collected?
  • How and by whom will data be collected?
  • How and by whom will data be analyzed?

Once these questions have been answered, the coalition can proceed through the below steps to conduct their assessment. Technical assistance with the below steps is often available from local extension offices, local health departments, and other non-profit organizations.

1. Determine the purpose and scope of the assessment:

It includes-

  • Have to decide whether the assessment will focus on a definite population within the community versus the community at large.
  • Have to decide which health topics to prioritize, limiting the chance of the health assessment to what can reasonably be accomplished.
2. Define the goals and objectives of the assessment.

3. Select data collection methods to use:

It includes-

  • Have to find out whether the expected information exists or if a new data collection effort is needed.
  • Some usual processes for new data collection include interviews, surveys, focus groups, and observation.
4. Design the essential instruments and methods for data collection:

Have to look for cogent and reliable instruments which have been tested in similar communities with similar populations. It is less costly and so easier to adapt an existing instrument than to create one from scratch.

5. Pilot test the instruments and procedures.

6. Prepare a timeline and budget.

7. Collect the data.

8. Analyze the data.

9. Prepare and disseminate a report of the findings.

10. Evaluate the assessments merit and worth:
Consider what worked well, what problems were encountered, and what could have been done better.

Tips for Effective Reporting a Community Assessment:

There are some useful tips of effective reporting a community assessment, those are listed in the following:

  • Prepare multiple reports using a variety of media.
  • Include an executive summary.
  • Have to keep a logical order in mind, and should be used easily understandable language.
  • Have to highlight the information that community members comprehend as most important.
  • Have to explain the questions like why the needs assessment was completed, what is now known that was not known before, and how the new information will help address discrepancies in the community.
  • Acknowledge limitations and alternative explanations for the findings.
  • Keep the information relevant, practical, credible, and understandable.
More questions related to this article:
  1. What is community assessment in nursing?
  2. How do you conduct a community assessment?
  3. Why is community assessment important?
  4. What are the steps in a needs assessment?
  5. How do you do a community needs assessment?
  6. What is a community health assessment model?
  7. What is the information to be included in assessing community needs?
  8. Mention some important tips for effective community health assessment.

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