PDQ Epidemiology will help to fill the considerable gap between the exact findings of the laboratory and the uncertain world of clinical medicine. By translating the terminology of epidemiology into easy-to-understand language, the underlying scientific methods begin to emerge and make sense. The third edition reflects the maturation of the field, which now encompasses much more than the “randomized, controlled trial.” New sections explain techniques that have been introduced into the field since the previous edition. The section on RCT has been expanded, and updated examples have been incorporated. The section on measurement has also been brought into line with newer thinking on reliability and validity.
The author description of the third edition of PDQ Epidemiology displays the style of the book: “The intent of this book is to translate the terminology of epidemiology into street talk, so that, we hope, the common sense of the methods will emerge. It’s laid out a bit like a dictionary. Topics are grouped in logical rather than alphabetic order, so it would behoove you to tackle one section at a time. Chapter 1 is an introduction that goes into more detail about what epidemiology can and cannot do. Chapter 2 goes into depth about classical epidemiology, and Chapter 3 talks about experimental designs. Chapter 4 examines the issues in measurement, Chapter 5 provides the criteria of causation, and Chapter 6 explores some of the ethical problems that researchers must address.
At the end of the third, fourth, and fifth chapters, we’ve provided guides to help you determine whether articles that you have come across have made some basic mistakes in design or reasoning. As in our previous book, PDQ Statistics, we’ve called these illustrations “Convoluted Reasoning or Antiintellectual Pomposity Detectors,” which we’ve abbreviated as “C.R.A.P. Detectors.” This was done solely for the laudable purpose of conserving space, and anyone who reads any other meaning into this name reveals a low sense of humor; such people should enjoy this book.”
We can’t guarantee that your graduate degree will be mailed after you finish this book. Nevertheless, we hope that you will find all the fancy words a bit less intimidating.
- Complete coverage of all important concepts
- Easy-to-read, easy-to-grasp terms and concepts
- Perfect for board review
Chapter 1. Introduction to Epidemiology
What It Is
Trends in Epidemiology
Current Applications of Epidemiology
A Dose of Reality
Chapter 2. Classical Epidemiology
A Little Bit of History
Some Basic Concepts
Some Other Terms You Should Know
Chapter 3. Research Methodology
Yet Some More History
Other Forms of Randomization
Threats to Validity
Chapter 4. Measurement
Issues in Choosing a Measure
Types of Variables
Measurement with Categorical Variables
Measurement with Continuous Variables Screening
Chapter 5. Assessing Causation
Chapter 6. Ethics
Freely Given Consent
Appendix: A Brief Epidemish-English Dictionary
[REVIEWER’S EXPERT OPINION]
James C. Torner, MS, PhD (University of Iowa College of Public Health)
This quick overview provides a description of epidemiology as a field and its history, its basics, and its application in research.
The authors aim to translate the field of epidemiology, its concepts, and methods to clinicians. For those who take a formal course, this book provides an open door. The authors also try to put epidemiology in context using examples and humor. Making epidemiology approachable is essential for the understanding and producing of evidence for medicine.
The book targets clinicians and healthcare practitioners. Others who may not have the time to understand epidemiology, perhaps journalists and administrators, might find this book useful. The authors provide insight into clinical measurement and epidemiology.
The foundation of epidemiology begins the book, and chapter 2 discusses classical epidemiology. It then progresses to research methodology, upon which most analytical epidemiology is based. The fourth chapter on measurement is the best, providing a description of epidemiologic measures and their foundation.
The remaining chapters provide the context in which methods and measurement apply. Unique are the authors’ humorous interjections and the CRAP detector segments.
The strength of this book lies in its accessible length, content, and scope. It opens the door and invites further reading on epidemiology methods and applications. The updates make this edition current, but it probably won’t replace earlier versions on the shelf.
Weighted Numerical Score: 77 – 3 Stars