The ability to communicate your knowledge in oral and written formats is a core academic
skill set you should acquire whilst at University.
Successful completion of this assignment should allow you to:
– research the current biomedical literature to obtain information from peer-reviewed
journal articles on specific health-related risk factors and associated disease states,
– structure a written article to effectively convey the information in an organised and
– critically review the information and develop balanced and well supported viewpoints
on key issues relevant to the risk factors and conditions investigated,
– broaden your understanding of the relationships between body systems and the
development of pathology/pathophysiology
A 3000 word essay or “review article” on the following topic:
“What will kill you first: smoking, a high fat diet or alcohol abuse?”
(2300hrs) Weighting : 30%
The essay or review article should be structured to include information on the following
General Background/Introduction: Setting the scene
– Overview of key/common health-related risk factors/mechanisms of disease
– Epidemiology/prevalence of health issues related to smoking, a high fat diet and
– Establish the whole patient context (ie consider interactions between risk factors)
Pathophysiology and pathology: Major content (can be more than one section)
– Description of the impact smoking, a high fat diet and/or alcohol-abuse has on the
relevant body system/s
– Mechanisms responsible for the development of pathology/pathophysiology
– Key manifestations/clinical characteristics of major pathologies/pathophysiologies
Critical review/comparison of the overall impact each risk factor has on the
development of pathology/pathophysiology
Pre-hospital/Medical Management: Major content (can be more than one section)
– Discussion of common patient presentations/conditions and their diagnosis (ie
emergency and non-emergency) encountered by paramedics that result from, or
are influenced by smoking, a high fat diet and alcohol-abuse
– Current pre-hospital management practices/therapies for these risk-factor
related presentations/conditions – analysis of benefits and limitations
– Common complications associated with these presentations/conditions that have a
significant impact on patient morbidity/mortality
– Critical review/comparison of the overall impact each risk factor has on
Summary and Conclusions: Discussion section
– Draw your conclusion and support your argument with a concise summary of key
– Relate points/issues to the overall patient context (ie consider interactions)
– No development of new issues/ideas or repetition of information – conclusions
made should be supported by the information provided in the body of the essay (ie
you can refer to it, but don’t repeat the detail)
Big Hint….before you start to write, develop an essay content plan.
The purpose of the Content Plan is to help you structure your written article and make
sure you provide relevant information in a logical sequence. Planning what you want to
write about and the order you present the information is the critical first step in ensuring
you submit an informative, well written piece of work.
BEFORE you prepare the Content Plan, it is CRUCIAL that you have a good
understanding of the subject material and have identified the key areas you think you
need to discuss. To do this EFFECTIVELY, you will need to have PERFORMED YOUR
INITIAL LITERATURE SEARCH and obtained the key guiding references you will use for
The Content Plan should comprise MAJOR HEADINGS and SUB-HEADINGS with DOTPOINTS
of the key items you plan to discuss included under each sub-heading. This plan
may change as you develop your essay but once you have it finalised, convert it into a
one-page table of contents that is identical to the major headings and subheadings
you have used in your essay. Once you have your plan, then you can work on each
section one at a time knowing what information needs to go into it, and what information
you will cover somewhere else. This will help you limit repetition but also help you create
links between relevant bits of information.
It is expected that most of the information you use for this assignment will come from journal
articles. It is recommended you find the journal articles you need by searching the United
States National Library of Medicine database using the PubMed search engine.
The link to PubMed is:
Before you start using PubMed, it is strongly recommended you visit the PubMed Tutorial
To Get You Started – here are some suggested searches:
high fat diet and metabolic syndrome and mortality
smoking effects and “pulmonary disease” and mortality
“alcohol consumption” and mortality
– putting the search items between “parenthesis” will limit the search i.e. “pulmonary
disease” and “alcohol consumption”
– check out the “review” and “free full text” tabs on the right hand side of the results
o the “review” tab will list those articles identified as reviews – these are good
o the “free full text” tab will list those articles you can link to from PubMed and
obtain for free
– search the Flinders University Library e-catalogue for articles you cannot get free from
PubMed – if the Uni subscribes to the journal you can generally obtain the article
– search results can be down loaded for importing into EndNote
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