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National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology (NICHSR)

Using Published Reports from the Internet
   
In this exercise, you are asked to conduct a search for published statistical reports and tables on one of the following topics:
  • Health risks due to the excessive use of alcohol
  • Obesity
  • Cardio-vascular risk factors
  • Injuries due to the use of the automobile
  • Cost of Hospital Care for complications due to diabetes

Tasks
  1. Select one of the topics listed above
  2. Using an online search engine—such as google or yahoo search, look for publications issued on the web.
  3. Extend your search to Google Scholar
  4. Assess what you have found—does it answer your question
  5. Now extend the search by looking for articles on PubMed
  6. Next try to find reports using Statiscal Sources on the Web or the Gateway to Data and Statistics
  7. Using what you have learned, identify the agencies that issue reports related to the topic you selected and visit their website to search for additional information
  8. Next, search Health, United States to try to see if they have any additional information
  9. Assess what you have learned.
Questions
  1. How much additional information did you find in each of the 9 tasks suggested above?
  2. What data files would you try to obtain to extend your analysis beyond the reports that can be found?
  3. What are the most important trends that you found? What is the statistical uncertainly associated with each of these trends?
  4. How has your understanding of the issue or problem changed?