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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Arden Handler, DrPH (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Description: This is the latest addition to the small number of books on reproductive and perinatal epidemiology methods. Its seven substantive chapters, plus introductory and concluding chapters, focus on the continuum of reproductive and perinatal events for women and infants.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide an overview of the epidemiology and associated methodological issues in the study of reproductive and perinatal outcomes. While there are several other books with similar objectives, this one updates these older efforts and successfully lays out key concepts in a clear and succinct way.
Audience: This book is particularly useful for teachers and students of reproductive and perinatal epidemiology. The authors are well known authorities in this area, lending substantial credibility to the book.
Features: Each chapter begins with an overall introduction and definitions of key concepts or terms for a particular reproductive/perinatal outcome (e.g., maternal morbidity, reproductive loss). This is followed by an overview of measures related to the outcome as well as measurement issues, descriptive epidemiology, and risk factors associated with the outcome. Some chapters include an overview of public health interventions. Each chapter concludes with two sections: discussion topics and promising areas for future research. The writing is brisk and easy to follow, and the book includes many data tables and author-developed diagrams which explain relationships between key concepts. While the book is intended as a teaching tool, the discussion questions and research questions at the end of each chapter do not appear to address the most salient issues or concerns. In addition, the index is incomplete, making it difficult to use.
Assessment: Despite these few shortcomings, the writing style, the clear explanations, and the many pictorial depictions will make this a very popular book for teachers and students of reproductive and perinatal epidemiology, as well as a useful methods handbook for those in the trenches.