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Essential Epidemiology : An Introduction for Students and Health Professionals - Penny Margaret Webb

Essential Epidemiology

An Introduction for Students and Health Professionals


Published: 1st June 2008
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RRP $69.95

This is an accessible, easily readable, and modern introduction to epidemiology for students of medicine and public health.

It combines a strong public health perspective and rationale with modern methodological insights in a coherent and straight forward way. It emphasises the fundamental principles common to all areas of epidemiology and, unlike many other texts, integrates both public health and clinical epidemiology and the study of infectious and chronic diseases.

It aims to give health professionals a good understanding of the methods and potential problems underlying epidemiological data and reports but also provides a thorough introduction for would-be epidemiologists.

The 'nuts and bolts' of epidemiology are embedded in the wider health perspective and the concluding chapter explores future possibilities and emphasises the integration of the various strands of the discipline.

The basic messages are reinforced through numerous examples and questions, with answers provided.

About the Author

Penny Webb is a Senior Research Fellow and Head, Gynaecological Cancers Group, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Brisbane, Australia. Chris Bain is Reader in Epidemiology, School of Population Health, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.

'In this book, the authors have succinctly outlined the key concepts in modern epidemiology. ... the way forward is to 'think smarter' - this book provides the ideal starting point for those wanting to do just that.' International Journal of Epidemiology

Prefacep. ix
Epidemiology is...p. 1
A case of food poisoningp. 2
Subdisciplines of epidemiologyp. 4
On epidemicsp. 5
An historical epidemicp. 7
The beginningsp. 10
What does epidemiology offer?p. 16
What do epidemiologists do?p. 17
A natural experimentp. 22
Conclusionsp. 25
Referencesp. 26
How long is a piece of string? Measuring disease frequencyp. 28
What are we measuring?p. 28
Prevalence and incidencep. 30
Measuring disease in epidemiological studiesp. 36
Measuring disease occurrence using routine datap. 42
Other measures commonly used in public healthp. 49
Measures of mortality related to childbirth and early lifep. 51
Other measures of health statusp. 54
Summaryp. 59
Questionsp. 59
Referencesp. 60
Who, what, where and when? Finding and using public health datap. 61
Which data?p. 63
Raw health datap. 64
Summary health datap. 71
Gaining access to the datap. 72
Referencesp. 75
Watching not waiting: surveillance and epidemiological intelligencep. 75
The scope of surveillancep. 78
Types of surveillancep. 80
Surveillance in practicep. 83
Evaluation of surveillancep. 87
Summaryp. 87
Referencesp. 88
Why? Linking exposure and diseasep. 89
Looking for associationsp. 90
Ratio measures (relative risk)p. 92
Difference measures (attributable risk)p. 95
Relative risk versus attributable riskp. 105
Case-control studiesp. 106
Questionsp. 114
Referencesp. 115
Solid foundations: research designs for public healthp. 117
Types of studyp. 118
Descriptive studiesp. 121
Analytic studiesp. 125
Intervention studies or experimentsp. 140
Referencesp. 145
All that glitters is not gold: the problem of errorp. 148
Errorp. 149
Subject selectionp. 151
Measurement or information errorp. 166
Assessment of the likely effects of error on the results of a studyp. 177
Summaryp. 181
Questionsp. 181
Referencesp. 182
Muddied waters: the challenge of confoundingp. 183
Is alcohol a risk factor for lung cancer?p. 184
Criteria for a confounderp. 186
The effects of confoundingp. 187
Control of confoundingp. 193
Confounding: the bottom linep. 200
Questionsp. 200
Referencesp. 201
Bringing it together: reading and writing papers in practicep. 202
The research question and study designp. 203
The study sample: selection biasp. 204
Measuring disease and exposure: measurement biasp. 206
Confoundingp. 208
Chancep. 209
Study validityp. 210
Descriptive studiesp. 212
Writing papersp. 213
Questionsp. 213
Referencesp. 213
Who sank the boat? Association and causationp. 215
What do we mean by a cause?p. 216
Association versus causationp. 219
Evaluating causationp. 221
Evaluating causality in practice: does H. pylori cause stomach cancer?p. 227
And then what?p. 228
Referencesp. 228
Assembling the building blocks: reviews and their usesp. 229
Identifying the literaturep. 230
Different types of studyp. 231
Summarising the datap. 234
Assessment of causalityp. 240
Assessing the quality of a systematic reviewp. 240
Making judgements in practicep. 243
The end resultp. 246
Referencesp. 247
Outbreaks, epidemics and clustersp. 249
Outbreaks, epidemics, endemics and clustersp. 250
Rare disease clustersp. 253
Epidemiology of infectious diseasesp. 254
A causal modelp. 256
What influences the spread of infectious diseases?p. 258
Epidemics or outbreaksp. 264
Investigating outbreaksp. 266
Tuberculosis: a case studyp. 270
Conclusionp. 274
Questionsp. 274
Referencesp. 274
Prevention: better than cure?p. 276
Disease prevention in public healthp. 276
The scope for preventive medicinep. 281
Strategies for preventionp. 284
Referencesp. 289
Early detection: what benefits at what cost?p. 290
Why screen?p. 290
The requirements of a screening programmep. 293
The screening programmep. 303
Evaluation of a screening programmep. 304
The negative consequences of a screening programmep. 312
Summaryp. 313
Questionsp. 313
Referencesp. 314
A final word...p. 316
What does the future hold for epidemiology?p. 320
Referencesp. 323
Answers to questionsp. 324
Direct standardisationp. 334
Standard populationsp. 336
Calculating cumulative incidence and lifetime risk from routine datap. 337
Indirect standardisationp. 339
The Mantel-Haenszel method for calculating pooled odds ratiosp. 341
Indexp. 345
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521546614
ISBN-10: 0521546613
Series: Essential Medical Texts for Students and Trainees Ser.
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 355
Published: 1st June 2008
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Dimensions (cm): 24.0 x 19.2  x 2.2
Weight (kg): 0.803