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Epidemiology: An Introduction [Paperback]

Kenneth J. Rothman
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Epidemiology: An Introduction Epidemiology: An Introduction 4.7 out of 5 stars (9)
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Book Description

February 7, 2002 0195135547 978-0195135541 1
In the past thirty years epidemiology has matured from a fledgling scientific field into a vibrant discipline that brings together the biological and social sciences, and in doing so draws upon disciplines ranging from statistics and survey sampling to the philosophy of science. These areas of knowledge have converged into a modern theory of epidemiology that has been slow to penetrate into textbooks, particularly at the introductory level. Epidemiology: An Introduction closes the gap. It begins with a brief, lucid discussion of causal thinking and causal inference and then takes the reader through the elements of epidemiology, focusing on the measures of disease occurrence and causal effects. With these building blocks in place, the reader learns how to design, analyze and interpret problems that epidemiologists face, including confounding, the role of chance, and the exploration of interactions. All these topics are layered on the foundation of basic principles presented in simple language, with numerous examples and questions for further thought.

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Editorial Reviews


"This is an excellent introduction to the principles and concepts of epidemiology. In a little over 200 pages Rothman covers all the essential topics for an introductory graduate level course in epidemiology." --European Journal of Public Health

About the Author

Kenneth J. Rothman is at Boston University.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (February 7, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195135547
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195135541
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #628,145 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best conceptual epi book published to date October 24, 2004
To my knowledge, this is the best and simplest textbook in epidemiology that has been published to date. I could compare it with practically all the 'mainstream' textbooks that I have been using, more or less recent, and more or less detailed textbooks.

If a potential reader has already some familiarity with epi this is not the best reference in terms of details (R&G "Modern Epi" is far better), but it can definitely be considered the best reference available for epi concepts. Ideal to refresh a tired epi mind.

If a potential reader had no prime in epi, this is an excellent prime. A warning: if you are looking for a text 'for dummies' filled with smart tips and mechanical shortcuts, this book is probably not what you are looking for. Actually the main 'side effect' of the book is that it forces you to 'think,' furthermore with your own head.

The book is simple but never poor; it focuses on concepts through examples, what a reader needs to begin mastering the subject. One of the main ideas that I found useful is that formulas are not the goal of epidemiology: they serve the concepts & the context that frames the problem or question.

When you read a chapter a second or a third time, later in your studies, you realize how carefully thought and written this book is: I believe it is difficult nowadays (in any field) to find a textbook so sound and well constructed. I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in epidemiology at any level.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A graduate student's salvation! November 15, 2002
By A Customer
As a graduate student in public health, I found this book to be a life-saver when it came time to study for my comprehensive exam. Concepts are laid out very clearly, but not over-simplified. The book progresses through the mainstays that you need to know in the proper order and at the right pace. Plus, the writing style is...friendly (no other word will do!). The book is far from intimidating for a new student, but has sufficient depth so that even a doctoral level epi student will reach new levels of insight into familiar concepts.
I especially appreciated the fact that Rothman uses social behavior examples, not only biomedical ones. (Critics who have alleged that Rothman overlooks "root" or "upstream" contributors to disease causation may be surprised to note that he draws upon domestic violence and substance abuse for this purpose.)
I would also like to address the comments of the first reviewer on this list, who woefully misrepresents Rothman as "anti statistics." In this text, Rothman provides formulas for everything from pvalues for stratified data to logits, and quiz questions at the end of each chapter so that you can test yourself as you learn to calculate.
Rothman holds a joint doctoral degree in epidemiology and biostatistics. His unerring grasp of biostatisics is precisely what allows him to out-think the average mathematician who conducts tests or follows particular procedures by rote or convention. Instead, Rothman uses artistry and originality in his practice of applying statistics to public health. As a teacher of these methods, he is unparalleled.
This book is simply the best introductory epidemiology text on the market!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent introduction April 29, 2002
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"Epidemiology: An Introduction" is a pleasure to read. My introductory epidemiology class at UNC-Chapel Hill used an advanced printing for our textbook. I find Rothman's writing to be excellent: clear and concise, but not "dumbed down." He explains complex concepts in a straightforward and accessible way. If you are taking an introductory epidemiology course, purchase this book and read it, even if it is not your required text! A layperson with some background in the sciences and an interest in epidemiology would find this a good read as well.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars simple and straightforward November 17, 2002
By JSim
A great cut-and-dry introduction to epidemiology. Although I would prefer to see some of the mathematical justification, for the less interested it's a good start. Examples are plentiful and clear, although some topics are handled as asides which may break up the flow of reading. Topics such as study design and measurements of association and occurence are clear-cut. Issues such as causation and confounding were sparse - helpful to supplement with Rothman & Greenland's "Modern Epidemiology".
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding introduction to epidemiology August 22, 2006
By skim320
I'm a doctoral student in epidemiology and I have become familiar with a number of introductory textbooks in epidemiology over the past few years. I think Rothman's book is one of the best of the lot. I found it particularly useful as a bridge between basic introductory textbooks such as Gordis' "Epidemiology" and Rothman & Greenland's "Modern Epidemiology". Rothman's introductory text does an excellent job of selectively covering important topics in epidemiology at a level of detail that is appropriate to its intended audience. The writing style is relaxed yet precise and lucid. His coverage of study designs and bias is particularly illuminating. Some topics such as the interpretation of diagnostic tests and screening are not covered. However, as an introduction to the principles and concepts of epidemiology, the book serves its purpose very well.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking, direct, and well written April 29, 2004
This is the best epid primer based on my growing experience with epid texts. It is concise and uses good examples. I refer to it regularly. The text also is a helpful companion to Modern Epidemiology (Rothman and Greenland).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Provides The Information
Provides a good introduction to epidemiology. A lot of material and content. A little on the "academia" side of providing information. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Angela M Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Condition
Looks like it was just bought off the bookshelf. I can not wait to use it for writing my articles.
Published 12 months ago by M. Ku
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic
Rothman's Epidemiology is a must for everybody interested in the discipline. He is a stubborn challenger of the common understanding of basic concepts.
Published 16 months ago by fernando
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
A very good introductory book. I recommend for anyone interested in understand the foundation of epidemiology. Only con was the price.
Published 19 months ago by Memyself
2.0 out of 5 stars Concise, but at the expense of clarity
I found the text convoluted at points. His description of case-control studies thoroughly turned me around, and I am a graduate student in epidemiology, and have been a part of... Read more
Published on June 2, 2011 by mmagoo6
5.0 out of 5 stars Great little book
Rothman aims to give the reader a proper understanding of the basics, no shortcuts. He succeeds at this. Read more
Published on May 1, 2011 by Francsois
5.0 out of 5 stars this book is really excellent
I have not read it thoroughly. I was not majored in Epidemiology but I need it in my work. That is the reason I bought this book

From brief look of this book, I feel the... Read more
Published on February 3, 2011 by shannon
4.0 out of 5 stars A book is a book
The book has all the words there so I am happy with my purchase. The seller's representation of the book was correct so I am happy with the seller.
Published on September 18, 2010 by Mitch Transtrum
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
It arrived on schedule.
Condition was as described or even better.
The book is great and makes the concepts understandable.
Published on January 21, 2010 by Jen
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!!
Nice introduction to epidemiologic concepts- I found this book helpful in discussing the basics! I read this with the Rothman, Greenland, Lash book titled "Modern Epidemiology"... Read more
Published on July 1, 2009
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