Overview of Arthritis Surveillance
Public health surveillance is defined as the ongoing, systematic collection, analysis and interpretation of data essential to the planning, implementation, and evaluation of public health practice, closely integrated with the timely dissemination of these data to those responsible for prevention and control. It is the cornerstone of informed decision making and programmatic action. For this reason, surveillance is one of the primary activities conducted and supported by the CDC Arthritis Program.
Surveillance data are used to:
- Raise the visibility of arthritis among the public and decision makers by documenting the magnitude of the arthritis problem.
- Monitor the burden and track trends within various sub groups.
- Put arthritis in perspective relative to other health conditions.
- Allow for comparison among states.
- Guide program efforts by identifying “high risk” populations.
- Identify disparities in occurrence and impact of arthritis.
- Track progress toward meeting program objectives.
- Provide information to people interested in arthritis.