Table 2

PH Information Need Categories, Examples of Needs and Related Information Source in Two Community Health Bureaus

Information Category

Communicable Disease Control

Community Health Promotion


Information Need

Source Examples

Information Need

Source Examples


1. Early reports on newly identified health risks and preventive behaviors

Fast breaking news or alerts re: Asian Bird Flu or West Nile Virus

News media ProMed [54] Epi-X [55]

Emerging risks and newly identified behaviors that reduce chronic disease risk (e.g. physical activity)

News media

2. Early reports on new practices and programs

Reports on SARS interventions

Conferences, informal networks, listservs

Promising prevention programs at work sites

Conferences, informal networks, listservs

3. Evaluations of new interventions

Effective STD interventions

STD Advisor (newsletter)

Effective elder health interventions

Conferences, grey literature

4. Reference Information on health risks and practices

Tuberculosis knowledge synthesis

Medical Reference Books, American thoracic Society [56], CDC [57]

Diabetes knowledge synthesis

Medical Reference Books, American Diabetes Assoc. [58], CDC [59]

5. Published articles and reviews

Research articles on communicable disease prevention and control

PubMed [23], journal-specific search engines, TB Update [60]

Research articles on chronic disease prevention and control

PubMed [23], journal-specific search engines

6. Evidence-based guidelines

vaccine safety

Institute of Medicine [61]

Prevention and control of heart disease

AHRQ (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality) [62], National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute [63]


LaPelle et al. BMC Public Health 2006 6:89   doi:10.1186/1471-2458-6-89

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