Community Health Nursing (Methods of Population Need Analysis)

Future workforce planning in the light of needs analysis within the context of public health, is required to address holistic community health needs including the promotion of a well population (Appleton and Cowley,
2000). One of the key features of locality needs investigations is that they provide the structure to develop an indepth profile of the designated area. Community needs assessment activities may be carried out by health professionals or voluntary or community groups all working together as a means of investigating the unmet need of that community. Rapid Appraisal (RA) is an evaluated method of seeking community participation in health service planning and needs assessment (Murray et al. 1994). It is a multi-faceted research approach that has been applied to a number of settings and covers a variety of methods and techniques (Scrimshaw & Hutardo, 1988; Thies & Grady, 1991; Ong, 1991; Shamian & Kupe, 1993;
Varkevissor, 1993). Used within the context of health it can provide an insight into a community’s perspective
of its priority needs which is a picture of the strength of feeling rather than a quantifiable measure of a particular problem.