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Public Health and Epidemiology at a Glance

ISBN: 978-0-470-65445-3
94 pages
April 2012, Wiley-Blackwell
Public Health and Epidemiology at a Glance (0470654457) cover image
This brand new title in the market-leading at a Glance series provides a highly-illustrated, visual introduction to the key concepts of population-level disease prevention. Accessible, double-page spreads help you understand and appreciate the determinants of health which impact on healthcare services and their effectiveness.

Public Health and Epidemiology at a Glance features high-yield information on all the topics covered at medical school, including:

  • Measurement of population health
  • Epidemiological concepts of cause and association, surveillance, and risk
  • Use of epidemiology in clinical decision-making
  • Epidemiology of major health problems such as cardiovascular disease and cancer
  • Health promotion
  • Basics of health economics
  • Basics of health policy, needs assessment, and evaluation

Also featuring self-assessment questions to help test learning, this new title will provide an invaluable resource for medical and healthcare students, junior doctors, and those preparing for a career in public health.

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Preface 6

Acknowledgements 7

About the authors 7

1 Introduction to public health 8

Epidemiology and Evidence-Based Practice

2 Incidence and prevalence 10

3 Risks and odds 12

4 Hierarchy of evidence and investigating causation 14

5 Bias, confounding and chance in epidemiological studies 16

6 Standardisation 18

7 Ecological and cross-sectional studies 20

8 Case-control and cohort studies 22

9 Trials (experimental studies) 24

10 Systematic reviews and meta-analysis 26

11 Diagnostic tests 28

Assessing Population Health

12 Health and illness 30

13 Demography 32

14 Epidemiological transition 34

15 Health information 36

16 Measuring population health status 38

17 Lifestyle determinants of health 40

18 Environmental determinants of health 42

19 Inequalities in health 44

20 Socio-economic inequalities in health 46

21 Health needs assessment 48

Improving and Protecting Health

22 Disease prevention 50

23 Principles of disease transmission 52

24 Communicable disease control 54

25 Surveillance 56

26 Immunisation 58

27 Screening principles 60

28 Screening programmes 62

29 Health promotion 64

30 Changing behaviour 66

Health Economics

31 Economic perspectives on health 68

32 Economic evaluation 70

33 Economic perspectives on measuring health-related outcomes 72

34 Economics of public health problems 74

Effective Health Care

35 Health care systems 76

36 Planning health services 78

37 Health care evaluation 80

Self-Assessment

Self-assessment questions 82

Self-assessment answers 84

Appendix: Practical issues in conducting epidemiological studies 85

Further reading 87

Index 88

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Margaret Somerville is Director of Public Health and Health Policy, NHS Highland, Inverness

K. Kumaran is a Consultant in Public Health Medicine, NHS Somerset

Rob Anderson, Institute of Health Service Research, Peninsula Medical School, Exeter

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“This is a useful summary that provides a quick overview so that students or professionals can acquire the basic knowledge of public health. The book is contemporary with recent references and examples. While the book presents basic concepts, the examples are from the U.K., hence their applicability is more relevant for a U.K. audience.”  (Doody’s, 30 August 2012)


Pre-publication review: “Like most other medical students I am guilty of ignoring epidemiology and not really seeing or applying its relevance to my studies. I thought this book was truly excellent in highlighting how important it is to my future career as a doctor. It was clear, concise and an enjoyable read. I feel that this book is a truly needed publication, which takes the confusion and monotony out of the subject.” (3rd year Medical Student, University of Southampton)
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