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Community Health Needs Assessment


Community health needs assessment is a process that:

  • describes the state of health of local people;
  • enables the identification of the major risk factors and causes of ill health; and
  • enables the identification of the actions needed to address these.

A community health needs assessment is not a one-off activity but a developmental process that is added to and amended over time. It is not an end in itself but a way of using information to plan health care and public health programmes in the future.

The steps of community health needs assessment are as follows.

  • Profiling the collection of relevant information that will inform the nurse about the state of health and health needs of the population; and analysis of this information to identify the major health issues.
  • Deciding on priorities for action
  • Planning public health and health care programmes to address the priority issues
  • Implementing the planned activities
  • Evaluation of health outcomes


Needs assessment will enable the health practitioners to:

  • plan and deliver the most effective care to those in greatest need;
  • apply the principles of equity and social justice in practice;
  • ensure that scarce resources are allocated where they can give maximum health benefit; and
  • work collaboratively with the community, other professionals and agencies to determine which health issues cause greatest concern and plan interventions to address those issues.



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