Covering traditional and modern epidemiological approaches, Gerstman (health science, San Jose State University) gives non-epidemiologists tools for interpreting epidemiological data, keeping up with current literature, and preparing for qualifying exams with epidemiological content. This second edition adopts typical biostatistical notation, and relies on frequent use of epidemiologic calculators, especially the WinPepi and EpiCalc2000. The text can be used in public health training programs as well as for students in medicine, health education, and the biological sciences. Annotation ©2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
Reviewer: Bernard J. Turnock, MD, MPH (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Description: This is an introductory text on elementary epidemiology. It is intended primarily for those looking for the basic concepts and principles of the subject but who do not intend to become practicing epidemiologists.
Purpose: The primary aim is to reach a wide variety of audiences who may find epidemiology of interest or use in their work. This is an attractive approach and, generally, this book achieves its goal.
Audience: Audiences will include most of the health professions and their students who seek only a superficial exposure to the field. Even in graduate level public health programs, this sort of text may appeal to students from business and social science backgrounds.
Features: It covers the usual topics and principles of the field, but in a somewhat simpler and more understandable manner than many epidemiology texts. There are many practical exercises, case studies, and real-world applications provided throughout. Very useful sections on the natural history of disease, cluster assessments, and outbreak investigations help make the book very practice-oriented. Continuity is at times fractured:jumping back and forth from concepts to practice as well as the emphasis on notation detracts from the ease of understanding for the less quantitatively oriented readers. But these are only minor weaknesses.
Assessment: Overall this book lives up to its title. The basic concepts and principles are adequately handled and there is plenty of interesting and practical material for the basic audiences targeted. While notas useful in academic settings of graduate public health education, it will satisfy a wide variety of audiences in other settings.