Annotated Epidemiology & Epi Info Bibliography

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Suggested Citation: Jung, B.C. (1999 - 2023). Annotated Epidemiology Bibliography.
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Abramson, J.H. (1994). Making Sense of Data. 2nd Edition. NY: Oxford University Press. A good text for interactive learning courses. Brief explanations are given about major epidemiological concepts that are reinforced by exercises. Answers with explanations are given in following chapters. Really needs a good teacher to make the most of this text. Hard for those who (like me) likes to study concepts in a systematic way. However, does have a good section (at the end) on meta-analytic studies - how to conduct and critique them.

Armenian, H.K., & Shapiro, S. (1998)Epidemiology and Health Services. NY: Oxford University Press. An excellent text on the application of epidemiological principles to health services research. Covers public health surveillance, general population studies, case investigations, case-control methods, randomized controlled trials, screening, and analytic approaches. The final chapter on meta-analysis is excellent.

Beaugelhole, R., & Kjellstrom, B.R. (1993). Basic Epidemiology. Geneva: WHO. Good overview of the practice of Epidemiology as various subspecialties: infectious, clinical, environmental, occupational.

Brownson, RC, Petitti, D. (1998). Applied Epidemiology. Theory to Practice. NY: Oxford University Press. A super textbook of the roles epidemiologists play in every area of Public Health Practice. Written by a number of experts from a variety of areas, each defines what an epidemiologist does and what they contribute to that area of practice. For example, Petitti does an excellent job in the area of health services research, by defining how Epidemiology contributes to outcomes research, economic evaluation, and measuring health care quality. She offers potential epidemiological tools to use and defines the basic theoretical concepts used to look at health service quality. This is truly a useful textbook for epidemiologists who are looking for guidance in what they can offer in the vast Public Health terrain.

Brownson, RC, Remington, PL, Davis, JR. (1993). Chronic Disease Epidemiology & Control. DC:American Public Health Association. Excellent foundation text for those working with chronic diseases A second edition came out in 1998, but I only had access to this one. Reading this in 2004, the statistics are probably somewhat outdated, but chronic diseases remain chronic diseases, and surprisingly, very little has changed in over a decade regarding its causes and approaches to controlling them.

Coggon, D., Rose, G. & Barker, D.J.P. (1993). Epidemiology for the Uninitiated. (3rd Edition). London: BMJ. A quick and dirty guide to the major concepts of Epidemiology. Good basic descriptions for ecological, longitudinal, case-control, cross-sectional and experimental studies.

Friedman, G.D. (1994). Primer of Epidemiology. 4th Edition. NY: McGraw-Hill, Inc. The theory and practice of epidemiological studies as used in Medicine.

Friis, R.H. & Sellers, T.A. (1996). Epidemiology for Public Health Practice.MD:Aspen Publishers. A comprehensive reference text for any public health professional, detailing the application of Epidemiology to every day public health tasks. Very good.

Gigerenzer, G. (2002). Calculated Risks. How To Know When Numbers Deceive You NY: Simon & Shuster MacMillan Co. An excellent book that introduces you to a better way of understanding statistics. Yes, it is possible to present statistical information in an easy-to-understand format that can be used for decision-making. The author's premise that presenting risk in natural frequencies is the right way to talk about risk is well-supported by examples and explanation. I think this book would be more useful if he also presented a curriculum with which schools and universities can incorporate his ideas into teaching math and statistics from elementary all the way into professional schools (i.e., medicine, law, etc.). Great promise for improving Public Health risk communication, too. Nothing is worst than people trying to fog you with statistics when they themselves don't even understand what they are saying!!! A must read.

Glaser, A.N. (1995). High-yield Biostatistics. PA: Williams & Wilkins, Inc. Written as a review text for medical students studying for the medical boards, Glaser covers all the basic biostatistical concepts needed to understand medical research and pass the board's biostatistical questions. The "Statistics in Epidemiology" chapter does a good job in explaining the common epi risk measurements found in the medical literature.

Gordis, L. (1996). Epidemiology. PA: WB Saunders. A good basic text that covers the research design side of Epidemiology. Look illustrations and numerous tables make the subject matter easy to understand.

Halperin, W., Baker, E.L., & Monson, R.R. (1992). Public Health Surveillance. NY: Van Nostrand Reinhold. This book can be viewed as a companion text to Teutsch, & Churchill's theoretical approach to surveillance. Provides a good overview of the practice of surveillance in public health today. Written mostly by CDC staff, and a few involved with surveillance in the non-public health sector, this text will give you a good idea of just how much theory can actually be applied to real-life situations, and what can and cannot be accomplished with surveillance activities.

Hanrahan, E.J., Madupu, G. (1994). Apelleton & Lange's Review of Epidemiology & Biostatistics for the USMLE. If 2x2 tables give you the chills, chill out with this review text. The 2x2 table is the standard epi tool for everything from evaluating screening tests, organizing data for risk factor studies and hypothesis testing. This text will clarify the table's various uses and is very good in explaining common epi risk measures as relative risk, odds ratio, absolute risk and attributable risk.

Kazandjian, V.A. (1995). The Epidemiology of Quality. Gaithersburg, MD: Aspen Publishers. A good text that covers what is currently known about outcomes research - theory and practice. While the author pitches the use of epidemiologic methods in organizing health data, he doesn't effectively support his contention by the way the chapters are organized. Chapter 8 is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand what Continuing Quality Improvement is all about.

Last, J. M. (1988). A Dictionary of Epidemiology. NY: Oxford University Press. What the title says it is.

Lilienfield, D.E., & Stolley, P.D. (1994) Foundations of Epidemiology. NY: Oxford University Press. Quite a good basic text for Epidemiology. I think I like it better than Mausner & Bahn (ouch). Offers a good overview of epidemiological concepts. Because the authors are both physicians, they tend to emphasize the value of clinical trials, which is fine, but practicing epidemiologists can tell you that observational studies, with all their limitations, are pretty much the standard research methodology for public health studies.

Mausner, J.S. & Kramer, S. (1985). Mausner & Bahn's Epidemiology- An Introductory Text. PA: W.B. Saunders Co. The classic work about the theory and practice of Epidemiology.

Merrill, R.M. (2013). Introduction to Epidemiology. 6th Edition Jones & Bartlett. A most excellent textbook to learn everything you need to know about epidemiology.

Morton, R.F., Hebel, J.R., & McCarter, R.J. (1990). A Study Guide to Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Rockville, MD: Aspen Publications. Cram text. (Read Mausner & Bahn, or Rockett)

Oleckno, W.A. (2002). Essential Epidemiology. IL: Waveland Press. THE BEST EPIDEMIOLOGY TEXT FOR UNDERSTANDING THE STATISTICAL AND SCIENTIFIC BASIS OF EPIDEMIOLOGY. Yes! Finally, a basic textbook that helps you appreciate Epidemiology as a scientific method. The author goes through great lengths to provide a step-by-step approach to all the epidemiological methods, while explaining the rationale for each method. He explains how to interpret the results of epidemiological and statistical procedures and provides ample examples for everything. He spends the time to explain the best way to interpret epi measures. And, no other textbook explains in such simple terms the importance for precise definitions and how not having such definitions can have a negative impact on epi surveillance. He provides all the caveats for each epi research design and presents many of the weaknesses of the discipline, as the overlapping terminology so prevalent in the epi literature. This is one of those don't miss/must-have textbooks not just for students, but for the practicing epidemiologist as well.

Oleckno, W.A. (2002). Essential Epidemiology. Principles and Applications. Applets and Formulas CD-ROM. An accompanying CD-rom "Applets and Formulas" with the above textbook was very easy to use, and a great companion to the textbook. You can perform all the epi procedures covered in the textbook. Excellent navigation scheme (table of contents and index) makes it easy to get around the disk and to find the formulas you need. The CD-rom can be used by any epidemiologist for routine analyses. Worth getting for your "toolbox."

Page, R.M., Cole, G.E. & Timmreck,T.E. (1995). Basic Epidemiological Methods and Biostatistics: A Practical Guide Book. Boston, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers. THE BEST EPIDEMIOLOGY / BIOSTATISTICS TEXTBOOK FOR LEARNING ALL THE BASICS. Besides providing the best history of Epidemiology I've seen in print, the authors take the reader through epidemiologic investigations, and give the best explanation of hypothesis testing that can be found in a biostatistics text.

Rockett, I.R.H. (1994). Population and Health: An Introduction to Epidemiology. A special issue of the Population Bulletin 49(3) journal devoted to giving the reader an overview of Epidemiology. Excellent. Concise explanations of descriptive and analytical epidemiology, to common epidemiological measures and studies. Mausner & Bahn may need to worry.

Roueche, B. (1988). The Medical Detectives. NY: Truman Talley Books. A great read about epidemiologists at work. Makes me want to get back to Epidemiology.

Selvin, S. (1991). Statistical Analysis of Epidemiologic Data. NY: Oxford University Press. Definitely not for anyone who considers themselves biostatistically-challenged. A real technical text that is quite comprehensive in covering statistical measures only principal investigators would be, or should be interested in. A great reference for understanding life tables, censored and truncated data, proportional hazards analyses and logistic modeling. Surprisingly, the earlier chapters on measures of risk, variation and bias were the hardest to get through.

Streiner, D.L., Norman, G.R., & Blum, H.M. (1989). PDQ Epidemiology. Philadelphia, PA: B.C. Decker, Inc. Cram text.

Teutsch, S.M. & Churchill, R.E. (1994). Principles of Public Health Surveillance. NY: Oxford University Press. An in-depth look at the practice of public health surveillance and how to analyze surveillance data. Bound to be a classic for the discipline.

Timmreck, T.C. (1994). An Introduction to Epidemiology. Boston, MA: Jones & Bartlett. An excellent basic text about Epidemiology, definitely from a practitioner's point of view. Probably a good text in lieu of Mausner & Bahn (double ouch). Covers everything, from mapping to basic epidemiological measures. Especially good for local health department practitioners. Tends to get a little redundant, but then he's just being didactic. Frowns on the encroachment of biostatistics into the field, and emphasizes observational studies as the standard epidemiological approach. Appendices include the classic epidemiological studies. The first book to include John Snow's reports on his cholera investigations.

Tufte, E.R. (1997). Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative. CT: Graphics Press. An art historian look at how data are presented in a variety of formats. Not very technical, heavily illustrated. Has one chapter about statistical analysis. Has the best write-up (of all textbooks) about Snow's investigation of the 1854 London Cholera Epidemic.

U.S.H.H.S./P.H.S./C.D.C. (November, 1991). Principles of Epidemiology. A series of study guides for CDC's Long Distance Course, Epidemiology. All the basics: Agent, Host, Environment, Measure of Central Tendency, Statistical Measures Used in Epidemiology; Methods for Organizing Epidemiologic Data; Disease Surveillance; Investigation of Disease Outbreaks.

van Belle, G. (2002). Statistical Rules of Thumb. MA: Wiley-Interscience. Very good text for statisticians who want to be a consultant. van Belle is well-versed in the ins and outs of statistical practice across a number of disciplines. There are excellent chapters on how Epidemiology and Environmental Studies are seen through the eyes of a statistician. I found his rules of thumb helpful for understanding a number of concepts, but it may be too much for the average person who just wants to understand the basic principles. There was one rule I did not agree with, and that is his dislike for pie charts. I find pie charts useful in conveying parts of wholes.

Yates, K. (2020). The Math of Life & Death. 7 Mathematical Principles that Shape Our Lives. NY: Scribner. In 7 chapters, Kit Yates provides an interesting overview of how mathematics is very much a part of our daily lives. And, it doesn't all have to do with calculations. Because of our numerophobia, we tend to gloss over when numbers become a part of the conversation, which is why mathematics is misused and abused in all walks of life.

Because of mathematical errors, like the misplacement of a decimal point, wrong medication dosages can lead to death, as well as a mix-up in different measurements (liters vs. gallons) can result in running out of plane fuel while a country is switching over to the metric system. Yates shows how the misuse of statistics in the courtroom to sway the jury can result in wrongful imprisonment, and how the mistiming of warning alarms resulted in a bombing that could have been prevented.

Throughout the book, Yates offers real-world and interesting examples of how we really can't do with numbers at the same time offering historical gems on how we ended up with clocks having 24 hours, each hour with 60 minutes, and each minute with 60 seconds. His final chapter "Susceptible, Infective, Removed: How to Stop an Epidemic" was my favorite since it covered Public Health. It was too bad this book came out before the pandemic. I am sure Yates would have offered an enlightened look that how bad our record-keeping has been from underreporting cases and deaths to the lack of testing that should have been done to assess the prevalence of COVID-19. Maybe his next book can be devoted entirely to the topic.

Finally, Chapter 6 on the use of algorithms for everything offers a warning of overdependence on its use for everything. Sure, we want things automated, and we want it done in as orderly fashion as possible. Nevertheless, we should not forget that those who write the algorithms are humans, and humans make mistakes.

I have written enough computer programs to know that you really can tell a computer what to do. And, it will do it exactly the way your coding tells it to do. But, the interpretation still has to be done by humans, and they can always misinterpret the numbers. And, the programmer can introduce a bias in what data are to be included or excluded, which, of course, would result in possibly inaccurate data that could be misinterpreted, adding insult to injury.

It's like people today can plug in a set of numbers into a spreadsheet, and wah-la, a beautiful graph will show up that could be totally meaningless. And, "Even if some of the most complex mental tasks can be farmed out to an algorithm, matters of the heart can never be broken down into a simple set of rules. No code or equation will ever imitate the true complexities of the human condition." (p. 242).

I truly enjoyed this book that sought to explain mathematical concepts in a very understandable way. Yates does provide tables with numbers to illustrate his points, but no formulas that you would need to memorize like when you took it in school to understand what he is trying to say. You will come out with an appreciation of why we need numbers in our lives. After all, what would a birthday be without a number?

EPI INFO (N = 7)

Alperin, M. & Miner, K.R. (1997). Using Epi Info. A Step by Step Guide. The only non-Epi Info Manual I would recommend for the truly faint-at-heart computer-challenged holdouts of the 20th century. I still think the Epi Info Manuals themselves are the best software manuals on the market, written for the college-educated but not necessarily those to become the computer nerds of tomorrow. This text does attempt to reach everyone with a step-by-step "it's really not that hard to do honey" approach that may appeal to those who want to learn this great package on their own without feeling dumb. You can infer from the occasional references to Epi Info Manuals that this text seeks only to "supplement" the real manuals themselves, but can stand alone for graduate students who need a good statistical package to conduct data collection and analysis for their thesis.

Bennett, S., Myatt, M., Jolley, D., & Radalowicz. (1996). Data Management for Surveys & Trials. A Practical Primer Using Epi Info. Brixton Books. An okay book if you are just starting out and you want to use Epi Info to manage survey responses, etc. But does not replace the original Dean, et al's original Epi Info manual.

CDC. Epi Info 7 User Guide A nice perk is that it is available online! Yes, you don't have to pay for this user manual that is written in an easy-to-understand language and format. It is 361 pages long.

Dean AG, Dean JA, Burton AH, Dicker RC. Epi Info Version 6: a word processing, database, and statistics program for epidemiology on microcomputers. GA: USD, Inc. Best manual for using Epi Info 6.

Dean AG, Dean JA, Burton AH, Dicker RC. Epi Info Version 5: a word processing, database, and statistics program for epidemiology on microcomputers. GA: USD, Inc. Best manual for using Epi Info 5.

Myatt, M., & Ritter, S. (1997). Analysing Data. A Practical Primer Using Epi Info. Brixton Books. The best of Brixton Books series from Myatt. Does very well in explaining the statistical procedures that can be done with Epi Info, as well as explain how to report statistics in articles, and what the numbers actually mean. Good section on transforming data. Only Brixton Book worth buying.

Myatt, M. (1994). Getting Started... Epi Info Version 6. Brixton Books. A good introduction to Epi Info.

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Published on the Web: September 1, 1999; February 23, 2001
Updated: 12/24/2022 R201

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