Oxford Textbook of Public Health, Volume 4: Specific Applications

edited by Walter W. Holland, Roger Detels, and George Knox. xii + 472 pages, illustrated. Oxford University Press, 200 Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10016. 1985. $37.50

Phillip E. WinterEngineering & Economics Research, Inc, Germantown, Maryland 20767

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This final volume of the Oxford Textbook is directed toward the nature of public health investigations. The excellent introduction by Dr. Knox sets the tone admirably.

The volume is divided into six sections. The first two sections, which comprise four chapters between them, address data sources (using examples for the U.S., Great Britain and Canada), coupled with a brief review of automated data bases available. These chapters present a concise and relatively extensive guide to extant sources of official data. The section which follows, “Epidemiological Techniques and Planned Investigations,” and the next-but-one, “Field Investigations of Physical, Chemical and Biological Hazards,” consist of 13 chapters which taken alone would make a marvelous text on field epidemiology for the novice. Cross-sectional, cohort, experimental and case-control studies are neatly discused in succeeding chapters, followed by a brief but comprehensive summary of statistical methods (these chapters comprise the former section).