Subsequent to 9-11, information is increasingly available in the news media about essential public health functions, including, for example, environmental protection; the prevention, surveillance, and control of communicable diseases; occupational health; and specific public health services, such as emergency disaster services. With deep historical traditions, the field of public health encompasses a wide array of intellectual disciplines, professions, trades, and practical skills.
Arranged in alphabetical order and written by experts, this set's more than 900 clearly written, well-organized entries provide an excellent source of background information for the lay reader, college student, and professional. Length ranges from a hundred words or so for basic definitions to several thousand words for "each of the most important sectors and disciplines" of the field. Some entries include charts, graphs, and tables. It is disappointing that no Web sites are included in the brief bibliographies that conclude each entry. See also references point the reader to related topics. Adding considerable value, back matter consists of core documents in the field (for example, "The Oath of Hippocrates," "World Scientists' Warning to Humanity"), an annotated bibliography of historical and modern works, and a topical outline of contents.
Arms control, Child mortality, Filth diseases, Homicide, Medical waste, Oil spills, Race and ethnicity, and Street violence are examples of some of the entries in this work. More than 40 entries are biographical, covering such individuals as Joseph Lister, Walter Reed, and Margaret Sanger. Readers looking for information on public health administration and agencies will not be disappointed; neither will others looking for information on the history, philosophy, and ethics of public health. Here too is information on communicable and noncommunicable diseases and conditions, injury related to acts of individual and mass violence, epidemiology, environmental health, behavioral and community health issues, personal health services, nutrition, and public health and the law. The editor and contributors clearly understand the field's breadth and depth, and the diverse entries reflect their appreciation of the field's vitality.
Over the past decades the availability of works on medicine and health has surged, and today the reference output in both print and electronic formats in these fields continues to grow. Most other sources emphasize the health of individuals rather than the health of populations, so this work fills a gap in the reference literature. The Board extends an unqualified "thumbs up" to the editor and his contributors for successfully imparting to the reader an understanding of the extraordinary progress of the field of public health. Strongly recommended for academic libraries and medium-sized and large public libraries. RBB
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Guarding the public's well-being requires the efforts of specialists in public health, public policy, nursing, medicine, government, and social science. In the aftermath of September 11 and the anthrax scare, as the number of health-related restrictions, caveats, procedures, and injunctions explode, the public health community has become increasingly concerned with the prevention and detection of disease and with health promotion. This four-volume compilation provides basic information on more than 900 programs, services, organizations, health behaviors, and the prevalence, epidemiology, and costs of communicable diseases. Although the work focuses on the United States, there are also references to worldwide problems. The preface states that the signed articles are written by experts, but only their affiliations, not their credentials, are provided. The alphabetically arranged articles have brief bibliographies and are interspersed with ample cross references. An extensive, annotated bibliography, arranged in logical subject categories, is included at the end of Volume 4. There is also an appendix of important documents and official statements concerning the well-being of the entire population. This user-friendly set is more extensive and up-to-date than the Dictionary of Public Health Promotion and Education (Sage, 1996) and is a highly recommended addition to reference collections in academic and large public libraries. Margaret K. Norden, Marymount Univ., Arlington, VA
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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