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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Charles F Lynch, MD, PhD, MS (University of Iowa College of Public Health)
Description: This introduction to epidemiology is more pictorial than most books in this area, providing many tables and figures to illustrate epidemiological principles and methods.
Purpose: Most students in public health and even medicine can reap a career benefit from an understanding of the principles and methods of epidemiology. This book achieves its objectives through many colorful tables, figures, and pictures that are attractive to the eye and stimulating to the mind to foster an understanding of the accompanying text.
Audience: This book is written for students, residents, and practitioners who want to learn about the basics of epidemiology.
Features: The book has three primary sections. The first covers the epidemiological approach to disease and intervention. The second covers the application of epidemiology to identify causes of disease. The third addresses applying epidemiology to evaluation and policy. This edition adds more color to the tables and figures, which makes them more attractive. A few new examples have been added, as well as a few new problems at the end of some of the book's 20 chapters. Since its first edition, the innovative characteristic of this book has been its extensive use of tables and figures to convey epidemiological principles and methods. The review questions at the end of several of the chapters are well written, with answers at the end of the book. Over my 25 years of teaching an introductory epidemiology course to over 2,500 students, this book has been rated the highest by the students. I believe this is because of its pictorial content, which is attractive to the eye and stimulating to the mind. This is an excellent textbook and has few, if any, shortcomings.
Assessment: This is best introductory textbook of epidemiology that I have encountered. It is also ranked the highest by my students. The major change from the fourth to fifth edition is the addition of more color to the tables and figures. The overall content has not changed much. Thus, for students who prefer a more colorful presentation, this edition is a worthwhile investment. If this is not the case and students have the previous edition, they can still learn the principles and methods of epidemiology from the prior edition.