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Methods, just as diseases or scientists, have their own history. It is important for scientists to be aware of the genesis of the methods they use and of the context in which they were developed.
A History of Epidemiologic Methods and Concepts is based on a collection of contributions which appeared in "SPM International Journal of Public Health", starting in January 2001. The contributions focus on the historical emergence of current epidemiological methods and their relative importance at different points in time, rather than on specific achievements of epidemiology in controlling plagues such as cholera, tuberculosis, malaria, typhoid fever, or lung cancer. The papers present the design of prospective and retrospective studies, and the concepts of bias, confounding, and interaction. The compilation of articles is complemented by an introduction and comments by Prof. Alfredo Morabia which puts them in the context of current epidemiological research.
Content Level »Research
Keywords »Public Health - assessment - cancer - epidemiologic methods - epidemiological - epidemiological methods - epidemiology
From the contents: Introduction.- Cohort analysis.- Cohort studies: history of the method.- The changing assessments of John Snow's and William Farr's cholera studies.- Changing images of John Snow in the history of epidemiology.- Methods of outbreak investigation in the 'Era of Bacteriology' 1880-1920.- Constructing vital statistics: Thomas Rowe Edmonds and William Farr, 1835-1845.- Statistical methods in epidemiology: Karl Pearson, Ronald Ross, Major Greenwood and Austin Bradford Hill, 1900-1945.- History of bias.- The history of confounding.- Origins and early development of the case-control study: A short history of pathology registries, with emphasis on cancer registries.- Causality in epidemiology.- Issues of causality in the history of occupational epidemiology.