needs assessment

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A formal process conducted by health and social workers and others in health agencies to delineate the dimensions and severity of health and social problems of persons, families, and specified communities, especially those considered to be at high risk, so that resources can be deployed to manage them efficiently. Alternative approaches to needs assessment include the community-based survey and the case conference. The latter is often used to compile an inventory of problems and resources available to deal with them; then the problems are prioritized and strategies and tactics developed to deal with them.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.

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