Concept of Community

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the concept of community. The paper will explore the differences and definition between community and aggregate. The author will further discuss specific identification and description of an aggregate. The paper will conclude with the writer’s personal expression regarding this topic. Community vs. Aggregate Public health nurses and other care providers face various roles and challenges when working within the community. It is significant that nurses understand the differences between aggregate care vs. ommunity based approaches to health care and service delivery. A community, in public health, is a defined population. The focus of public health is the health of a defined population of community. A community can be defined as a common interest or characteristics (age, race, gender, social class, or cultural identity), also referred to as an associate population. It can be defined by geographic boundaries, or a system (Porche, 2004). Therefore, an individual within a given population can be a member of several different communities at one time, depending on the defining characteristic of the community.

And, depending on the type of community, the members may never come into contact with one another (Porche, 2004). An aggregate is a subgroup of the community population. Any community consists of multiple aggregates. Community aggregates can be grouped into simple aggregates based on demographics or geographic locations. This is the least type of aggregate in community health practices. The most common type of aggregate is high risk aggregate. A high risk aggregate or subpopulation of the community that has a high risk commonality among its members, such as Concept of Community 3 isky lifestyle behaviors (drug users, alcoholics) or high risk health conditions (teen pregnancy). The aggregate concept is used to target specific aggregates or subpopulations within the community (Porche, 2004). An aggregate approach, targets a specific subpopulation within the community, such as teenagers at risk for teen pregnancy. For example, an aggregate study (Kelly, Sheeder, 2004), was to test the hypothesis that teenagers who have taken home pregnancy tests (aggregate), are more ambivalent about remaining non-pregnant than those who have not, and for this reason, use contraceptives less consistently.

This was supported by detailed evidence. The authors concluded that home pregnancy test taking should be regarded as a red flag by those who care for adolescents; although they are as capable of using contraceptives as their peers, test takers are less apt to do so because they expect less negative consequences from childbearing, and for this reason, may benefit more from discussing childbearing expectations than contraceptive options. Therefore, aggregate health care focuses on a specific group of people and is a more in-depth and detailed type of treatment.

In contrast, the community-based approach focuses interventions of the entire community, using community or population based data. In the community-based approach, the interventions are designed to affect the health of the entire community at one time. In other words, the community or public health approach is focused on the entire community. To affect the health of the entire population, the public health nurse targets specific groups and designs interventions at multiple levels (individuals, aggregate or group, family and community).

Concept of Community 4 Conclusion In conclusion, Public health nurses and other care providers face various roles and challenges when working within the community. It is vital that nurses understand the differences between direct and indirect services and aggregate care versus community based approached to health care and service delivery. Within a given community, multiple partners become vital to the health and well being of populations served. Aggregate care tends to focus more on individual services and individually appropriate methods of delivery. In many circumstances however, community and aggregate-based approaches may be considered one in the same.


  1. Porche, J. (2004). Community Health Nursing Practice: A Population-Based Approach. Journal of Clinical Nursing, pp. 7-16.
  2. Kelly, L. , Sheeder, J. (2004). Teen Home Pregnancy Test Takers: More Worried or More Wishful? Pediatric Nursing Journal,13(3), 581-584.
  3. Frish, N. (2007). Concept of Community and Aggregate Care. Alternative Journal of Nursing, 14(7), 45-50.
  4. Reed, J. (2003). Aggregate Health Status: A Benchmark Index for Community Health. Journal of Medical Systems, 27(2), 177-189.

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