Community Analysis for Health Planning: Strategies for Primary Care Practitioners

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Primary care practitioners have an important role in planning for the health of individuals and selected target populations. Community analysis and needs assessment are the first steps in health planning. Community analysis involves identifying health issues within a community; gathering data about the community, the target group, and the health concern; analyzing data; and assessing community needs. Community needs assessment involves identifying both existing and potential health problems as well as health promotion needs. By using appropriate skills in carrying out needs assessments, primary care practitioners become active contributors in planning for the health of individuals, groups, and the nation as a whole. This article provides strategies for identifying, analyzing, and evaluating the health needs of a community.

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