Catalogue


Social epidemiology : strategies for public health activism /
Julie G. Cwikel.
imprint
New York : Columbia University Press, c2006.
description
xvi, 613 p.
ISBN
0231100485 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : Columbia University Press, c2006.
isbn
0231100485 (cloth : alk. paper)
contents note
Introduction to social epidemiology -- Basic concepts in health and illness -- The context for social epidemiology -- A history of public health and medicine -- The development of modern social epidemiology -- Concepts and theories in social epidemiology: the SOCEPID model -- Methods of descriptive epidemiology -- Research design for the identification of risk factors -- Program evaluation in social epidemiology -- Following social epidemiological research: then what? -- Social epidemiology applied to chronic disease: cardiovascular disease, cancer -- Injury control and violence prevention -- Sexually transmitted diseases, HIV, and AIDS -- Environmental hazards, occupational health, and community exposures -- Immigrants, migrants, and special populations: new challenges in social epidemiology and applications for the future.
catalogue key
6064207
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Julie G. Cwikel is a professor in the Spitzer Department of Social Work and founder and director of the Center for Women's Health Studies and Promotion at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel
First Chapter

INTRODUCTION

It's no secret: Health and disease interest all of us. Good health and its maintenance are central values the world over. Each cultural group has its own definition of health, including values and traditions that govern health behavior. For example, according to the Indian Ayurvedic philosophy, good health is a delicate balance between the three primary humors, wind, bile, and phlegm, which are disturbed by stress, injuries, and demonic presence (Magner 1992). The Bantu African tradition suggests,

"Health signifies that one's life force is intact, and that one is sufficiently in harmony with the social, physical, and supernatural environment to enjoy what is positively valued in life, and to ward off misfortunes and evils." (McKeown 1997:16)

We are concerned about our own health, the health of family members, and often the health of those who share our lifestyle, cultural background, workplace, neighborhood, city, and region of the country. Most people do something on a daily basis to maintain their health, whether it is exercising, taking vitamins, eating a balanced diet, meditating, wearing seatbelts, taking medications, or living according to religious precepts. Not only is self-care important, but healers and health care practitioners are found throughout history and are central to every culture. Views of health and health care in their particular cultural context are a core theme of this book.

In Western cultures the centrality of health as a value has not escaped the close attention of advertisers and marketers. Promises of better health and a beautiful body are used to sell everything from diet plans, breakfast cereals, and soft drinks to running shoes, cosmetic treatments, and leisure activities such as cruises. Wallack and Dorfman (1992) analyzed a composite day of television in order to extract the health messages contained in commercials and public service announcements. Almost one-third of the commercials (31%) used a health message as a sales pitch, promoting mostly foods and beverages. Curiously, although public service announcements used health messages as often as commercials, not a single announcement was geared toward promoting healthful behaviors connected with tobacco, alcohol use, or diet, key behaviors that are associated with many controllable aspects of disease. Communications about health and how they can be used to achieve public health goals are another salient issue in this book.

What Is Social Epidemiology?

Social epidemiology is the systematic and comprehensive study of health, well-being, social conditions or problems, and diseases and their determinants, using epidemiology and social science methods to develop interventions, programs, policies, and institutions that may reduce the extent, adverse impact, or incidence of a health or social problem and promote health. This definition provides evidence-based methods for public health activism. Social problems are specifically included in this definition because many of today's challenges in public health, including obesity, infectious diseases, violence, child abuse, and drug use, are associated with both personal behavior and macro trends in the social structure such as the distribution of wealth, social resources, and exposure to media and market forces. Furthermore, those who specifically study social problems can enrich their research and practice through the methods of social epidemiology, revealing how social problems are intrinsically linked to the health status of populations. Social epidemiology is the combination of epidemiology (the study of the distribution and determinants of disease and injury in human populations) with the social and behavioral sciences.

This definition of social epidemiology emphasizes that determining the distribution of disease and social problems and understanding the relevant risk factors and their interrelationship are only one part of social epidemiology. Risk factors are the behaviors, attributes, inherited characteristics, and exposures that increase the probability of a specific outcome such as a health or social condition, problem, or disease (Last 1995). In addition to determining distribution and identifying risk factors, a central focus of social epidemiology is implementing what we know about a particular condition in order to maintain and improve health and well-being. Inherent in this definition is the equal emphasis given to the psychosocial and the biological or medical determinants of disease and well-being. This definition emphasizes the use of multidisciplinary approaches to analyze complex social problems.

Some theorists have proposed an alternative definition of social epidemiology as "the branch of epidemiology that studies the social distribution and social determinants of states of health" (Berkman and Kawachi 2000:6). This approach to social epidemiology contrasts with classic epidemiology in its explicit emphasis on investigating social factors such as poverty and gender through the judicious use of theories, concepts, and methods instead of merely assuming their effects as background variables in biomedical research (Krieger 2001). This research-focused definition does not include the need for activist public health practice that is one focus of this book.

For example, alcohol consumption and driving are common activities among young people. However, their occurrences together in time and place make them risk factors that increase the likelihood of a motor vehicle accident. Numerous community groups, lawmakers, and policymakers have applied this knowledge to the development of programs and policies to combat driving under the influence of alcohol. Activities range from educating youth and police about the dangers of drinking and driving to providing alcohol-free events for youth and changing the legal drinking age. Although alcohol consumption has been illegal for those under twenty-one years of age since 1988, according to the 1998 national Household survey on Drug abuse an estimated 10.5 million current drinkers were twelve to twenty years old (Center for Mental Health Services 1999). There have been no statistically significant changes in the rates of underage drinking since 1994, which reinforces the conclusion that simply enacting laws does not necessarily change behavior.

The approach of social epidemiology reflects the understanding that social variables or conditions can lie on either side of the equation determining which factors affect health and illness. They can be independent variables, which are the characteristics hypothesized to explain the phenomena of health and disease. They can also be the social condition or outcome that we are trying to understand, or the dependent variable. For example, depression can be a risk factor for some diseases or social conditions, such as alcohol abuse or child neglect. It can also be the illness outcome of interest in its own right, measured by either reported symptoms or psychiatric diagnoses. Similarly, homelessness can be a risk factor for contracting an infectious disease or becoming the victim of violent crime, and it can also be a social condition that we seek to elucidate.

....

COPYRIGHT NOTICE: Published by Columbia University Press and copyrighted © 2006 by Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form by any electronic or mechanical means (including photocopying, recording, or information storage and retrieval) without permission in writing from the publisher, except for reading and browsing via the World Wide Web. Users are not permitted to mount this file on any network servers. For more information, send e-mail to cw270@columbia.edu

Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2007-04-01:
Cwikel (Ben Gurion Univ. of the Negev, Israel) notes that while "social epidemiology" generally refers to the study of the social determinants of health and disease, this textbook presents social epidemiology as the intersection of the social sciences and epidemiology. As such, the book contains principles and theories from a wide range of disciplines and an extensive array of examples as to how these relate to public health outcomes. The author calls for increased application of research methods to the development of public health programs and policies, writing that "a central focus of social epidemiology is implementing what we know about a particular condition in order to maintain and improve health and well-being." A major theme of the book is the author's SOCEPID model, which provides a framework for moving from identifying a social concern to collecting data and proposing an intervention. After introducing social science and epidemiological methods, the text provides examples that show the application of Cwikel's SOCEPID model to the fields of chronic disease, violence prevention, HIV/AIDS, and occupational health. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Graduate students through professionals/practitioners. K. H. Jacobsen George Mason University
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Julie Cwikel's book is timely and needed in an era when epidemiology is regarded as a discipline mainly driven by formulae devoid of values. Her book captures and emphasizes epidemiology's central historical role in defining root and proximate causes and in measuring effects in order to improve population health. This is a welcome and inspiring book." -- Derek Yach, professor and head, Division of Global Health, Yale School of Public Health, and director of the Rockefeller Foundation's program on global health
This book presents an excellent delineation of a health endeavor that is deservedly coming into greater prominence: social epidemiology. First-rate scholarship shows in Julie Cwikel's accounts of social epidemiology's origins in classical epidemiology; its methods in the field; and several major applications, as well as in the extensive references. Cwikel then goes beyond the concept that social epidemiology is concerned only with the social factors in health and disease by including strategies for public health activism.
"This book presents an excellent delineation of a health endeavor that is deservedly coming into greater prominence: social epidemiology. First-rate scholarship shows in Julie Cwikel's accounts of social epidemiology's origins in classical epidemiology; its methods in the field; and several major applications, as well as in the extensive references. Cwikel then goes beyond the concept that social epidemiology is concerned only with the social factors in health and disease by including strategies for public health activism." -- Lester Breslow, Dean Emeritus, University of California, Los Angeles, School of Public Health
"This book presents an excellent delineation of health endeavor that is deservedly coming into greater prominence: social epidemiology." -- Lester Breslow, Dean Emeritus, University of California, Los Angeles, School of Public Health
Julie Cwikel's book is timely and needed in an era when epidemiology is regarded as a discipline mainly driven by formulae devoid of values. Her book captures and emphasizes epidemiology's central historical role in defining root and proximate causes and in measuring effects in order to improve population health. This is a welcome and inspiring book.
""A welcome addition to every practitioner and researcher's library, especially physicians""
"A welcome addition to every practitioner and researcher's library, especially physicians"
""A welcome addition to every practitioner and researcher's library, especially physicians"" -- Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine
"Julie Cwikel's book is timely and needed...This is a welcome and inspiring book that should be used by health professionals..." -- Derek Yach, Professor and head, Division of Global Health, Yale School of Public Health, and director of the Rockefeller Foundation's program on global health
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, April 2007
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
By tracking the distribution of disease and pinpointing relevant risk factors, social epidemiology reveals how social problems are intrinsically linked to the health of populations. The practice also takes into account the psychosocial, biological, and medical determinants of disease and health, encouraging a rich and multidisciplinary approach to analyzing and solving complex contemporary social issues.This book provides a clear and comprehensive set of tools for practice. Julie Cwikel begins with an overview of the historical roots of public health and social medicine and shows how they formed the theoretical basis for current social epidemiological methods. Cwikel then explains the theoretical and programmatic tools social epidemiologists use in their research, program planning, and evaluation. In conclusion, Cwikel demonstrates how the SOCEPID model can be applied to a range of topics, including chronic illness, obesity, violence prevention, occupational health, sexually transmitted diseases (especially HIV), environmental hazards, and addressing the needs of vulnerable populations such as immigrants and trafficked women.With compelling authority, Cwikel shows readers how the exciting and growing field of social epidemiology is both practical and activist, drawing on cutting-edge empirical findings to conduct policymaking research and promote health at both the personal and population levels.
Main Description
By tracking the distribution of disease and pinpointing relevant risk factors, social epidemiology reveals how social problems are intrinsically linked to the health of populations. The practice also takes into account the psychosocial, biological, and medical determinants of disease and health, encouraging a rich and multidisciplinary approach to analyzing and solving complex contemporary social issues. This book provides a clear and comprehensive set of tools for practice. Julie Cwikel begins with an overview of the historical roots of public health and social medicine and shows how they formed the theoretical basis for current social epidemiological methods. Cwikel then explains the theoretical and programmatic tools social epidemiologists use in their research, program planning, and evaluation. In conclusion, Cwikel demonstrates how the SOCEPID model can be applied to a range of topics, including chronic illness, obesity, violence prevention, occupational health, sexually transmitted diseases (especially HIV), environmental hazards, and addressing the needs of vulnerable populations such as immigrants and trafficked women. With compelling authority, Cwikel shows readers how the exciting and growing field of social epidemiology is both practical and activist, drawing on cutting-edge empirical findings to conduct policymaking research and promote health at both the personal and population levels.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrationsp. ix
Prefacep. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
Introductionp. 1
Introduction to Social Epidemiologyp. 3
Basic Concepts in Health and Illnessp. 23
The Context for Social Epidemiologyp. 65
Historical Roots of Social Epidemiologyp. 93
A History of Public Health and Medicinep. 95
The Development of Modern Social Epidemiologyp. 123
Methodsp. 147
Concepts and Theories in Social Epidemiology: The SOCEPID Modelp. 149
Methods of Descriptive Epidemiologyp. 180
Research Design for the Identification of Risk Factorsp. 221
Program Evaluation in Social Epidemiologyp. 262
Following Social Epidemiological Research: Then What?p. 310
Applicationsp. 335
Social Epidemiology Applied to Chronic Disease: Cardiovascular Disease, Cancer, Arthritis, Diabetes, and Obesityp. 337
Injury Control and Violence Preventionp. 367
Sexually Transmitted Diseases, HIV, and AIDSp. 400
Environmental Hazards, Occupational Health, and Community Exposuresp. 432
Immigrants, Migrants, and Special Populations: New Challenges in Social Epidemiology and Applications for the Futurep. 472
Referencesp. 491
Indexp. 597
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem