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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Bernard J. Turnock, MD, MPH (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Description: Epidemiology has become an essential tool for both public health professionals and clinical practitioners. As a result, there has been a plethora of introductory and basic texts on the subject targeted to students and others seeking only a simple understanding of its basic concepts. This book presents the field in a broader and more comprehensive context. The basics are still provided, but not in a manner that facilitates learning through practicing the skills.
Purpose: Its primary intent is to serve as a resource and reference for the more serious practitioners of epidemiology, including researchers in public health and clinical sciences.
Audience: Epidemiologists in public and private settings, researchers involved in both observational and experimental inquiry, and graduate level students in epidemiology and biostatistics will find this work of value. Less serious audiences will miss the usual practice problems and exercises usually found in the more basic epidemiology texts.
Features: The book's features are unremarkable. There is appropriate use of tables, graphs, and charts, although somewhat less frequent than one might expect. A unique aspect of this book is its comprehensiveness, with virtually all important topics covered in its 700-plus pages.
Assessment: This book will serve well as a resource and reference for epidemiologists and researchers. It is not the kind of book that a novice can pick up and digest easily. However, it very competently covers the field and its major applications in the 1990s by providing consistent threads and themes throughout its presentation of concepts and methods. This would be a solid addition to health science libraries in university and other research settings.