Community diagnosis: A summary statement resulting from analysis of the data collected from a community health needs assessment.

Community health needs assessment: A systematic process to identify and analyze community health needs and assets in order to prioritize these needs, plan, and act upon significant unmet community health needs.

Focus groups: A systematic way of collecting data through small group discussion. Focus group participants are chosen to represent a larger group of people.

Health disparities: Health differences that are linked with social, economic, and/or environmental disadvantages.

Health equity:  A goal of everyone having a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible.

Health inequities: Avoidable differences in health status seen within and between communities.

Healthy community: A community in which local groups from all parts of the community work together to prevent disease and make healthy living options accessible.

Indicated prevention: Interventions that target individuals who have a high probability of developing disease.

Interviews: Structured conversations with specific individuals who have experience, knowledge, or understanding about a topic or issue.

Key informant interviews: Interviews are conducted with select people who are in key positions and have specific areas of knowledge and experience.

Leading health indicators (LHIs): A subset of high-priority Healthy People 2030 objectives to drive action toward improving health and well-being.

Primary data collection: Data collected to better understand the community’s needs and/or study who may be affected by actions taken for the community. Primary data collection includes tools such as public forums, focus groups, interviews, windshield surveys, surveys, and participant observation.[1] 

Primary prevention: Interventions aimed at susceptible populations or individuals to prevent disease from occurring. Immunizations are an example of primary prevention.

Primordial prevention: Risk factor reduction strategies focused on social and environmental conditions targeted for vulnerable populations.

Public forms: Public gatherings where citizens discuss important issues at well-publicized locations and times.

Public health nurses:  Public health nurses work across various settings in the community such as government agencies, community-based centers, shelters, and vaccine distribution sites.[2]

Quaternary prevention: Actions taken to protect individuals from medical interventions that are likely to cause more harm than good and to suggest interventions that are ethically acceptable.

Secondary analysis: Analyzing previously collected data and research about the community to determine community needs.

Secondary prevention: Interventions that emphasize early detection of disease and target healthy-appearing individuals with subclinical forms of disease.

Selected prevention: Interventions that target individuals or groups with greater risk factors for illness (and perhaps fewer protective factors) than the broader population.

Social determinants of health (SDOH): The conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age.

Surveys: Standardized questions that are relatively easy to analyze and are beneficial for collecting information across a large geographic area, hear from as many people as possible, and explore sensitive topics.

Tertiary prevention: Interventions implemented for symptomatic clients to reduce the severity of the disease and potential long-term complications.

Universal prevention: Interventions designed to reach entire groups or populations such as schools, whole communities, or workplaces.

Windshield survey: A form of direct observation of community needs while driving and literally looking through the windshield.

  1. Community Tool Box by Center for Community Health and Development at the University of Kansas is licensed under CC BY NC SA 3.0
  2. Greenwood, B. (2018, June 29). What are the primary roles of the community nurse? CHRON.


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Nursing: Mental Health and Community Concepts Copyright © by Chippewa Valley Technical College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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