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A History of Epidemiologic Methods and Concepts [Paperback]

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Item description for A History of Epidemiologic Methods and Concepts by Alfredo Morabia...

Methods, just as diseases or scientists, have their own history. It is important for scientists to be aware of the genesis of the methods they use and of the context in which they were developed.

A History of Epidemiologic Methods and Concepts is based on a collection of contributions which appeared in "SPM International Journal of Public Health", starting in January 2001. The contributions focus on the historical emergence of current epidemiological methods and their relative importance at different points in time, rather than on specific achievements of epidemiology in controlling plagues such as cholera, tuberculosis, malaria, typhoid fever, or lung cancer. The papers present the design of prospective and retrospective studies, and the concepts of bias, confounding, and interaction. The compilation of articles is complemented by an introduction and comments by Prof. Alfredo Morabia which puts them in the context of current epidemiological research.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   405
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.29" Width: 6.69" Height: 0.94"
Weight:   2.34 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 15, 2006
Publisher   Birkhäuser Basel
ISBN  3764368187  
ISBN13  9783764368180  

Availability  68 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 26, 2016 11:58.
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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Medicine > Reference
2Books > Subjects > Medicine > Administration & Policy > Public Health
3Books > Subjects > Medicine > General
4Books > Subjects > Medicine > Internal Medicine > Infectious Disease > Epidemiology
5Books > Subjects > Medicine > Research > Biostatistics
6Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Medical > Medicine > Internal Medicine > Epidemiology
7Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Professional Science > Biological Sciences > Biostatistics

Reviews - What do customers think about A History of Epidemiologic Methods and Concepts?

Deserves six stars  Oct 7, 2005
This is an extraordinary contribution to the epidemiologic literature. It is destined to become required reading for students in public health and an invaluable resource for those immersed in epidemiolgic methods and concepts. Although the price is a bit heady, it should be in every medical school and school of public health library. Readers should examine the chapter titles, their authors, and the contents of these chapters (on this site), to get a glimpse of the book. It is a book that is unlikely to become dated or irrelevant in the decades to come. Six stars!
A history of Epidemiologic Methods and Concepts  Apr 29, 2005
This book is not just a new book on epidemiology or on epidemiologic methods. It is a first book of its kind, which focuses on the evolution of methods and concepts in epidemiology. The work of past epidemiologist is not only revisited with a modern perspective but especially with openness for the future. The clear and critical presentation of the concepts will be enjoyed by young and senior epidemiologists alike.

The book is in part the result of a workshop held in Annecy, France in 1996, entitled `Measuring our scourges'. The papers presented there comprise Part II of the book. Part I is an extensive essay by the editor. Although clearly related to the papers, the introductory essay can be read and used independently.

In Part I (125 pages), A. Morabia develops three key avenues of thought: `population thinking' and `group comparison' as the two main pillars of epidemiology, and the set of concepts related to the identification of causes of disease (design, confounding, bias, interaction, causal inference).
The first two chapters focus on these principles of epidemiology. The genesis of epidemiology is described next, and links are made to Piaget's genetic epistemology and to the evolution of physics. The last chapter attempts to structure and classify the evolution of epidemiologic thinking over time.

This book on the history of epidemiologic methods and concepts not only focuses on the past but also argues persuasively that understanding the development of their methodological tools can help modern epidemiologists answer future public health questions better. The book will be very useful in teaching epidemiology, especially if, as stated in the preface, additional information including historical datasets will be made available on the .

Herman Van Oyen
Unit of Epidemiology
Scientific Institute of Public Health
Brussels, Belgium
A most important epidemiologic book in XXI  Jan 22, 2005
This book is in my view very likely to become one of those few books whose reading is `pleasantly unavoidable' for epidemiologists and for anyone seriously interested in research methods in clinical medicine and public health - very likely to become one of the most important epidemiologic books published in the present decade.

The volume will be useful and thought-provoking to any epidemiologist and to many health professionals. It also provides rich teaching materials for many sorts of courses of epidemiology, public health and clinical research methods. Discussion at our seminars and scientific meetings of the issues analysed in this book will be most relevant and timely. I believe it will also identify wide gaps in our knowledge on the social influences of epidemiologic methods, research and practice.

Miquel Porta, MD, MPH, PhD

History of Epidemiologic Methods and Concepts  Jan 21, 2005
Book Review: History of Epidemiologic Methods and Concepts. Editor Alfredo Morabia.

For the connoisseur of epidemiology this textbook is a delight with fascinating vignettes of different prominent figures and their contribution to the origins and evolution of epidemiology and its methods. Contributors include many prominent figures currently active in the field as well as budding and fledgling epidemiologists. The book describes changes in a major field of study, in this case epidemiology, as related to a) the changing definition of epidemiology from a study of infectious disease processes only to the current consideration of any health process, b) changing qualifications needed in the past and present to be an epidemiologist c) and the evolving concept of what is a cause d) and the evolving concept of the case-control and cohort study. In addition, the book makes a brief and interesting case as to what constitutes an epidemiologist today relative to someone who is bright and can rattle off many of the concepts without actually taking many formal courses. Through it all, the pervasive nature of epidemiology as a study related to public health and its improvement can be noted from genesis to the present. This is consistent with the idea that epidemiology is a study of populations and group comparisons in contrast to the physicians focus on the individual.

The book is divided into two parts. The first half of about 125 pages is devoted to the editor's overview of the history of epidemiologic concepts and methods. The concept of the case-control study design as considered through the eyes of the cohort study is particularly informative and reminds us that the cohort study is often conceptualized from the perspective of the more idealized randomized clinical trial. The randomized clinical trial is then often conceptualized from the perspective of the more idealized counterfactual. The author discusses many other topics including the origin of population thinking and comparison of groups, both concepts needed before epidemiology could advance at all to a formal science.

The second half of the book is a collection of papers by prominent past and current epidemiologists that discuss risks, rates, the history of confounding and bias, the history of the case-control and cohort studies, vital statistics and review briefly eight 20th century textbooks on epidemiology. This section adds further flavor to the continuing evolution of knowledge in epidemiology and reminds us that epidemiology in the not too distant future will probably be much different in many ways from what it is currently.

All in all, this book is a great read for those interested in the history of epidemiology, those interested in the evolution of study design concepts related to the case-control and cohort study, and those interested in the evolution of many concepts in epidemiology such as bias, confounding, risks, rates, etc. The ecologic study design, the cross-sectional study, and the randomized controlled study are not covered in this text.

Gene R. Pesola, M.D., M.P.H.
Associate Attending
Medicine (Section of Pulmonary/Critical Care)
Harlem Hospital/Columbia University
New York, N.Y.

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