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The aim of this chapter is to provide you with a basic understanding of epidemiology, and to introduce you to some of the epidemiological concepts and methods used by researchers and practitioners working in public health. It is hoped that you will recognise how the principles and practice of epidemiology help to provide information and insights that can be used to achieve better health outcomes for all.
Epidemiology is fundamental to preventive medicine and public health policy. Rather than examine health and illness on an individual level, as clinicians do, epidemiologists focus on communities and population health issues. The word epidemiology is derived from the Greek epi (on, upon), demos (the people) and logos (the study of). Epidemiology, then, is the study of that which falls upon the people. Its aims are to describe health-related states or events, and through systematic examination of the available information, attempt to determine their causes. The ultimate goal is to contribute to prevention of disease and disability and to delay mortality. The primary question of epidemiology is: why do certain diseases affect particular population groups? Drawing upon statistics, the social and behavioural sciences, the biological sciences and medicine, epidemiologists collect and interpret information to assist in the prevention of new cases of disease, eradicate existing disease and prolong the lives of people who have disease.
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|Item Type:||Book Chapter|
|Subjects:||Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Epidemiology (111706)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified (111799)
|Divisions:||Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
|Copyright Owner:||Copyright 2009 Elsevier|
|Deposited On:||24 Jun 2010 22:44|
|Last Modified:||24 Jun 2010 22:44|
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