Essential Epidemiology An Introduction for Students and Health Professionals

Author: Penny Webb, Chris Bain, Andrew Page
Affiliation: Queensland Institute of Medical Research
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication Date: 2017
ISBN 10: 1107529158
ISBN 13: 9781107529151
eISBN: 9781108334020
Edition: 3rd

Description:

Taking a practical view with examples from all areas of health, the third edition of this textbook provides a clear, contemporary introduction to epidemiology.

Table of Contents

Front Matter

  • ABOUT
  • Essential Epidemiology
  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • Contributors

1: Epidemiology is …

  • A case of food poisoning
  • Subdisciplines of epidemiology
  • On epidemics
  • An historical epidemic
  • The beginnings
  • What does epidemiology offer?
  • What do epidemiologists do?
  • A natural experiment
  • Conclusions
  • References
  • Recommended for further reading

2: How long is a piece of string? Measuring disease frequency

  • What are we measuring?
  • The concepts: prevalence and incidence
  • Measuring disease occurrence in practice: epidemiological studies
  • Measuring disease occurrence in practice: using routine data
  • Other measures commonly used in public health
  • Global health indicators
  • Summary
  • Questions
  • References

3: Who, what, where and when? Descriptive epidemiology

  • Case reports and case series
  • Vital statistics and mortality data
  • Morbidity data
  • Creative use of existing data
  • Confidentiality
  • Summary
  • Questions
  • References
  • Recommended for Further Reading

4: Healthy research: study designs for public health

  • The ideal study
  • Intervention studies or trials
  • Observational studies
  • A word about ethics
  • Summary
  • Questions
  • References
  • Recommended for Further Reading

5: Why? Linking exposure and disease

  • Looking for associations
  • Ratio measures (relative risk)
  • Difference measures (attributable risk)
  • Relative risk versus attributable risk: an example
  • Case–control studies
  • Looking for associations when the measures are continuous
  • Summary
  • Questions
  • References
  • Recommended for Further Reading

6: Heads or tails: the role of chance

  • Random sampling error
  • Statistical significance: could an apparent association have arisen by chance?
  • Confidence intervals
  • Power: could we have missed a true association?
  • Interpreting p-values and confidence intervals
  • Statistical versus clinical significance
  • Summary
  • Questions
  • References
  • Recommended for further reading

7: All that glitters is not gold: the problem of error

  • Sources of error in epidemiological studies
  • Selection bias
  • Measurement or information error
  • Summary
  • Questions
  • References
  • Recommended for further reading

8: Muddied waters: the challenge of confounding

  • An example of confounding: is alcohol a risk factor for lung cancer?
  • Characteristics of a confounder
  • The effects of confounding
  • Control of confounding
  • Confounding: the bottom line
  • Questions
  • References
  • Recommended further reading

9: Reading between the lines: reading and writing epidemiological papers

  • The research question and study design
  • Internal validity
  • So what? Are the results important?
  • Generalisability (external validity)
  • Descriptive studies
  • Writing papers
  • Summary: one swallow doesn’t make a summer
  • Questions
  • References
  • Recommended for further reading

10: Who sank the boat? Association and causation

  • What do we mean by a cause?
  • Association versus causation
  • Evaluating causation
  • An example: does H. pylori cause stomach cancer?
  • Conclusion
  • Questions
  • References
  • Recommended for Further Reading

11: Assembling the building blocks: reviews and their uses

  • What is a systematic review?
  • Identifying the literature
  • Appraising the literature
  • Summarising the data
  • Drawing conclusions
  • Assessing the quality of a systematic review
  • Making judgements in practice
  • The end result
  • Conclusion
  • Questions
  • References
  • Recommended for further reading

12: Surveillance: collecting health-related data for epidemiological intelligence and public health action

  • The scope of surveillance
  • Why conduct surveillance?
  • Surveillance essentials
  • Types of surveillance
  • Summary
  • Questions
  • References
  • Recommended for further reading

13: Outbreaks, epidemics and clusters

  • Outbreaks, epidemics and clusters
  • Epidemiology of infectious diseases
  • Non-infectious clusters and outbreaks
  • Outbreak management and investigation
  • Evidence for causation
  • Summary
  • Questions
  • References
  • Recommended for Further Reading

14: Prevention: better than cure?

  • Disease prevention in public health
  • The scope for preventive medicine
  • Strategies for prevention
  • The population attributable fraction as a guide to prevention
  • Prevention in practice
  • Evaluation of preventive interventions in practice
  • A final (cautionary) word
  • Questions
  • References
  • Recommended for Further Reading

15: Early detection: what benefits at what cost?

  • Why screen?
  • The requirements of a screening programme
  • Evaluation of a screening programme
  • Summary
  • Questions
  • References
  • Recommended for Further Reading

16: Epidemiology and the public’s health

  • Translating epidemiological research into practice
  • Challenges
  • Synthesis and integration
  • Limiting error
  • Improving measurement
  • A final word
  • References
  • Recommended for further reading

Answers to questions

Appendix 1: Direct standardisation

Appendix 2: Standard populations

Appendix 3: Calculating risk and lifetime risk from routine data

Appendix 4: Indirect standardisation

Appendix 5: Calculating life expectancy from a life table

Appendix 6: Why the odds ratio approximates the relative risk for a rare disease

Appendix 7: Formulae for calculating confidence intervals for common epidemiological measures

Appendix 8: The Mantel–Haenszel method for calculating pooled odds ratios

Glossary