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Data Interpretation for Public Health Professionals

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Date Developed: Unknown. Source: Northwest Center for Public Health Practice. Presenter(s): Janet Baseman, PhD, MPH. Type: Online Course. Level: Intermediate. Length: 90 minutes.


This 90-minute module provides an introduction to data interpretation for public health professionals. It utilizes examples and exercises to help participants increase data skills. Some of the topics the course covers include proportions and rates, basic epidemiological measures (such as incidence, prevalence, mortality, and case fatality), basic biostatistical measures (mean, median, mode, confidence interval, and p-value), data presentation, and interpretation of tables and graphs. The module also provides additional resources for further information on data interpretation. The module concludes with a final quiz.

Learning Objectives

• List at least three common data sources used to characterize health or disease status of a community.

• Define and interpret basic epidemiology measures, such as prevalence, incidence, mortality, and case fatality.

• Define and interpret basic biostatistical measures, such as mean, median, confidence interval, and p-value.

• Read and interpret tables and graphs.

• Determine the appropriate format for data presentation.

Special Instructions

Registration to PH LearnLink is required. Click on the “Trainings” link and then the “Courses” link. Scroll down to “Data Interpretation for Public Health Professionals” and click on the title to begin.

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UE8MC25742; MCH Navigator for $225,000/year. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.