Oxford Textbook of Public Health: Volume 2: Methods of Public Health (Oxford Medical Publications)

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9780192617071: Oxford Textbook of Public Health: Volume 2: Methods of Public Health (Oxford Medical Publications)
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Although infectious agents play an important role in the aetiology of disease, the major determinants of the health of the public are behavioural factors in our societies: what we eat, drink, and smoke, where we live, and so on. Studies in public health try to bring about changes in these factors to effect measurable improvements through the organization of medical care and public health services, and have proven effective, as evidenced by the tremendous strides made in countries such as Japan, China and the USSR who have shown a willingness to apply basic principles, to experiment and to change. The first edition of the Oxford Textbook of Public Health attempted to provide a sense of the history and philosophy of the subject, the underlying forces that condition it and the basic public health methodologies and their application to specific problems or care groups. From this basis, the second edition has been revised in a number of ways. The relationships between the philosophy of public health and its application to the solution of individual problems have been clarified. Since the first edition was published, there have been major changes in the way in which public health is regarded. The emergence of a major new infective disease, AIDS, has highlighted the importance of public health measures, both in the structure of health services and in the way in which disease prevention is approached. The range of contributions from non-English speaking countries has been considerably broadened, giving a wider and more balanced view of world public health. Since it is recognized that there are many different approaches to public health problems currently in use, an attempt has been made to synthesize these approaches by the provision of concluding chapters for the major sections on public policy, management, and methodologies, giving an overview of these areas. This second volume is almost entirely concerned with the several methodologies basic to public health, including information systems and sources of intelligence; epidemiological approaches; social science approaches; and field investigations of physical, biological, and chemical hazards.

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