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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Eric Westhus, BS (Saint Louis University)
Description: This is a comprehensive review of current methods used in the analysis of spatial epidemiology data.
Purpose: The purpose, as stated by the author, is "to provide an overview of the main statistical methods currently available in the field of spatial epidemiology." Spatial statistics have become increasingly important with the growth of GIS technology. A comprehensive review like this was much needed and this book meets the author's objective.
Audience: According to the author, the book was written for PhDs with some statistical background or postgraduate students in statistics or epidemiology. Researchers with a strong background in statistics and GIS will get the most out of this book, while others could skim it for a general familiarity with modern techniques. The author delivers the material with credible authority.
Features: The book provides an overview of the types of spatial data available to epidemiology researchers, the types of statistical models that can be used to analyze spatial data, and common problems encountered during a spatial epidemiological study. The author's extensive use of examples and figures do well at illustrating the concepts put forth by the author. This book is not, however, a how-to manual. It will serve nicely as a theory reference for someone conducting a spatial study, but it does not tell the reader how to apply these techniques using modern computer software.
Assessment: This is a very useful reference for the theoretical foundations of spatial epidemiological statistics. Alone, it will help researchers to understand spatial epidemiological literature. In conjunction with various software packages and manuals, researchers should be able to use this book to apply spatial statistical methods in their own research.