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Counting the numbers: Quantifying the burden of disease

CPD Hours



Community and primary health care
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Measuring the burden of disease is about quantifying the overall health of our populations. The technique is helping governments and healthcare providers make informed, data-driven decisions about healthcare policy and cost-effective care.

This short course explains the new terms that are being used in Australia and around the world to measure the impact of specific healthcare conditions on our overall health and well being.

Learning Objective

At the end of this module participants will be able to:

  • Describe how time is being used to measure the cost of illness on our population.
  • Define new public health measures including burden of disease, years of life lost, years lived in disability, and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs).
  • Understand how these measurements are beneficial for monitoring the health of the population, service planning and evaluation, and comparing health and wellbeing across settings.
  • Highlight some of the findings from the most recent Australian Institute of Health and Wellbeing Burden of Disease study.

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