Incorporating Geographic Information Systems into the Development of Diabetes Programs in Ohio
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. College of Nursing Honors Theses; 2009
Background: Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) is one of the most serious diseases in Ohio and the prevalence is rising. Intervention programs are effective in preventing and managing the disease. Mapping the spatial distribution of DM allows health care providers to identify where intervention programs are needed. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a mapping tool that is increasingly utilized by public health practitioners to plan and implement community interventions by mapping disease incidence, risk factors and provider availability. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to geocode data for use in GIS in order to identify where in Ohio DM intervention programs would be most effective. Sample: All Ohio counties (n=88). Procedure: Demographic and health data from the Ohio Department of Health was geocoded using GIS software. Measures include DM rates by county, the dependent variable, and the independent variables of poverty, DM associated mortality and health providers by county. Analysis: These measures were geocoded and imported into GIS software to generate maps displaying Ohio counties that are at high risk and that would benefit most from DM intervention programs. Results are reported in the form of maps displaying county level data. Maps generated display high-risk counties overlayed with demographic and provider data. Thus, a single map displays a large amount of information that is easy to read and that can be used to help make decisions about resource allocation, such as where DM intervention programs are needed most in Ohio. Implication for practice: GIS is a valuable tool for public health nurses to analyze health data, to inform decisions about resource allocation and to aid in the development and implementation of community health programs.
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