Population health encompasses traditional public health and preventive medicine but emphasizes the full range of health determinants affecting the entire population rather than only ill or high-risk individials. The population health approach integrates the social and biological, the quantitative and qualitative, recognizing the importance of social and cultural factors in practice and research. This text is organized around the key objectives of population health risks and inferring causation, and planning and evaluating population health interventions. It is designed for use in introductory/intermediate courses in epidemiology, public health, and health policy and management. It emphasizes basic concepts and methods and makes use of case studies, exercises, and boxes to introduce students to the full range of population health issues seen in the literature.
Reviewer:J. Thomas Pierce, MBBS PhD(Navy Environmental Health Center)
Description:In this book, population health is described as encompassing traditional public health and preventive medicine. It also emphasizes a full range of health determinants affecting the entire population rather than only ill or high-risk individuals. The population health approach integrates factors social and biological, those quantitative and qualitative, recognizing the importance of social and cultural factors in practice and research.
Purpose:In keeping with its first edition in 1988, many positive features of the original have been retained, including extensive use of boxes, case studies and exercises; the selection of examples representing a variety of health problems, geographic regions, and historical periods; and a multidisciplinary orientation bridging the quantitative and qualitative, the social and biomedical sciences. The book originated with lecture notes but with the first edition, and more so this time, it goes far beyond course requirements.
Audience:It is somewhat difficult to estimate the audience for this book. Given it reads somewhat like an excellent set of lecture notes, I believe it will be widely employed. The author seems to have mastered the art of inserting critical references to historical figures such as Rudolf Virchow, Rene Dubos, and John Snow, along with critical lists of public health accomplishments.
Features:For North American readers, it will be refreshing to see many examples of suitable approaches to problem-solving illustrated along both sides of the Canadian border, along with other useful examples from around the globe. The second edition contains nine chapters, about half speaking to measurement, modeling, and assessment of health criteria, the balance directed at design, planning, evaluation, and health improvement. There are about 25 case studies, addressing important epidemiological findings from the Broad Street Pump to SARS and water fluoridation. Each chapter also contains extensive notes and exercises (along with answers).
Assessment:The author does not fear comparison with other references since other major textbooks and sources of epidemiologic information are fairly listed in the Introduction. This book contains important hooks in the sense of historical precedents and interesting case studies, as well as paper and pencil exercises that promote calculation skills.