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How to Publish a Summary Report

A summary report summarizes the main findings of the surveillance data and provides the audience with an easy-to-read report on state surveillance data findings and recommendations. The Pediatric Surveillance System 2009 Report* (PDF-1Mb) summarizes the national PedNSS data and is an example of a summary report.  This is also available in text-only format.* (PDF-1Mb)

To assist you in writing a state or county report, a template for a Summary Report for PedNSS is provided in the Examples: Contributor Summary Report section below. The text in the template reflects the national data. You will need to modify the text to reflect your data. Enter your state/county data and graphics and modify the text of the report to reflect your data results. Including an executive summary no longer than one to two pages that highlights the critical findings can be useful.

Considerations when writing a summary report:

  • If you want to convince your audience that a problem is getting worse over time, show trend data. Presenting trends over time show the current problem, quantifies the increase in the problem, and allows some projection about the problem in the future if the trend continues.
  • Compare state data to other populations such as national PNSS and PedNSS data and to national objectives such as the Healthy People 2010 objectives to put the data into a broader context and allow the audience to see the big picture.
  • Emphasize the implications of your data by giving additional information. For example, between 1992 and 2001 overweight in children 2 years of age and older increased by 13%. Overweight children are more likely to be obese as adults than children who are not overweight.
  • Use graphics to capture attention and convey information quickly. In every graphics you present, make one key point. Label everything clearly so that a graph makes sense by itself if it were to be reproduced.
  • Be clear in your writing. Be simple and direct.

Tips for writing a data summary report:

  • Clearly identify the target audience

  • Include only the most important findings and recommendations

  • Use active verbs

  • Avoid jargon

Example: Template for PedNSS Contributor Summary Report

The template for the Summary Report reflects findings in the national PedNSS data and may not be representative of your specific data. Change the text as needed to accurately portray your data. In the concluding sections on "Infant and Child Health Advances and Concerns" and "Pediatric Nutrition Recommendations," be specific about the issues identified in your data. Recommendations for your state, territory or tribal government may not be the same as those presented in the template. Provide thoughtful recommendations based on your data. Include graphics to support the data you present.

*This document is available in Portable Document Format (PDF). You will need Acrobat Reader (a free application) to view and print this document.

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Page last reviewed: May 23, 2011
Page last updated: May 23, 2011
Content Source: Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion



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